The University of North Carolina released its third notice of allegations -- officially, the "seconded amended" notice of allegations -- on Wednesday, as the NCAA beefed up its case against the athletic department, putting the mention of football and men's basketball back in the spotlight for its involvement with major violations in the African and Afro-American Studies department over a nine-year span.
The time frame for this updated NOA is based off the initial notice by the NCAA: 2002-11. North Carolina won national championships in 2005 and 2009. The 2005 title in particular has always been hotly debated as to whether it would be on the table for being vacated by the NCAA.
This saga and investigation has had stalls and stars, and has been years in the making. The NCAA handed North Carolina a new notice of Allegations in April, removing any mention of men's basketball being tied to the academic scandal allowing students, many athletes, taking anomalous courses in the department from 2002-11. The school responded aggressively, calling the NCAA's jurisdiction into question. The two sides met in October for a "procedural" hearing to discuss the case.
The hearing, which was overseen by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, was unusual for NCAA cases of this nature, but so was North Carolina's aggressive response to the NCAA, challenging its authority.
Athletic director Bubba Cunningham challenged the NCAA's process, now very familiar with the association's Committee on Infractions procedures.
"We've worked collaboratively with the NCAA enforcement staff for more than two years," Bubba Cunningham said in a statement released by the school. "We have serious concerns about the process that led to the third notice of allegations based on the principle that all member institutions should expect fair and consistent treatment. We will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA and remain fully committed to seeking a fair outcome."
The new notice -- which you can read here -- from the NCAA mentions men's basketball and football as sports involved with the effort to maintain academic eligibility, one of the five major violations in the case. North Carolina now has until March 13 to craft it's official response to this notice. Then, finally, the case will go before the Committee on Infractions.
The NCAA's case against North Carolina has been multi-pronged and extended for more than six years, covering both an agent scandal in the football program (for which the team was punished with probation, scholarship reductions and a one-year postseason ban) and the academic scandal involving the entire athletic department and anomalous classes that went unchecked in the African-American Studies department.