The University announced on Friday that it has notified the NCAA of "two new pieces of information potentially requiring further review."
While preparing a series of emails related to the Wainstein Report for public release, the University discovered "additional examples of possible instances of improper academic assistance" provided to several former women's basketball players.
UNC's statement on the matter indicated the new info is directly related to the second allegation pertaining to academic counselor Jan Boxill in the notice of allegations the institution received in May.
“We have been going through approximately between 5-6 million pages of information as part of our public records release,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a teleconference on Friday. “Through that discovery process, getting those materials ready for public release, we discovered additional documentation that seems to be very similar to the materials that were previously released, as far as the Wainstein Report.”
The second piece of information relates to potential recruiting violations in men's soccer over the past two years. That revelation is unrelated to the current notice of allegations.
Cunningham revealed that the athletic department had administered a compliance test and a men’s soccer coach incorrectly answered a question. When the coach sought clarity on the topic, the compliance staff realized the coach misunderstood the rule and had potentially committed some violations. The potential violations do not impact any current or former student-athletes.
“The information we self-reported to the NCAA regarding our men’s soccer program does not meet the high expectations of conduct that I have set for Carolina’s coaches and our entire athletics program," Cunningham said in a statement. "We expect excellence in everything we do, including NCAA compliance, and we will accept nothing less. We will continue to work closely with the NCAA to investigate this matter and avoid unnecessary delays. While this development is very disappointing, it is important to recognize that our athletics compliance procedures detected the potential violations and our coaching staff came forward to report them.”
UNC reported the new information to the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 10. The new information will force the University to delay submitting its response by the Aug. 18 deadline.
The new information pertaining to the men’s soccer program could possibly extend the length of the NCAA investigation. If the new information is determined to be a Level I or Level II violation, NCAA infractions procedures require that the existing notice of allegations be amended to include the violations even if they are unrelated to the prior allegations.
All five of the current allegations in UNC’s notice are deemed potential Level I violations, which is defined as a severe breach of conduct.
Level I recruiting violations provide or are intended to provide “substantial or extensive” advantages, according to the NCAA. Level II recruiting violations provide or are intended to provide “more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive” advantage.
The NCAA will set a new response date following its review of the new data. The University's statement indicated that both the institution and the NCAA are confident the additional review can be concluded within 60 days.
If an amended notice of allegations is required, UNC will have an additional 90 days to respond.
In 2011, UNC responded to its notice of allegations in September and had its Committee on Infractions hearing in late October. Infractions reports, which include potential penalties, are typically delivered to the institution 6-to-8 weeks following the hearing, according to the NCAA. UNC received its infractions report in March 2012, some 19 weeks after its hearing.
The Committee on Infractions meets six times per year in the months of February, April, June, August, October and December, according to the NCAA’s website.
“What this does for the date in which we appear before the committee, I’m unsure,” Cunningham said. “But I’m still hopeful that we can get through this portion of the investigation, receive the amended notice if that is what is required, and still bring this to closure but the spring of ’16.”
UNC announced that the NCAA had reopened its 2011 examination of academic irregularities in June 2014. The University received its notice of allegations on May 20, 2015.