It’s been more than five years since whistleblowers uncovered extensive academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, the NCAA has released its third notice of allegations against the school. But, so far, there have been no official sanctions.
Other schools have been less fortunate. Many have faced swift punishment from the NCAA for academic misconduct. The severity of the sanctions has varied widely.
Notre Dame football will be hit with a range of NCAA sanctions for academic misconduct in the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The NCAA found that during those years, nine Notre Dame football players received academic help that “went beyond the rules.” One sanction will be to vacate wins in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
The University of Missouri imposed sanctions on its own men’s basketball team after evidence of academic violations was found. To those sanctions, the NCAA added one year of probation. And at Campbell University, the NCAA discovered eligibility issues with transfer students in ten sports over five years. For those violations, the NCAA placed Campbell on probation.
Officially, the NCAA uses a four-level violation structure to help determine punishments. But critics claim that punishments are more arbitrary. NCAA sanctions can range from a slap on the wrist to a serious obstacle to future sports recruitment, success, and income.
Many have argued that the NCAA treats powerhouse programs, such as men’s basketball at UNC-Chapel Hill, too leniently. For two years after Michael McAdoo first sued the university, the NCAA seemed unlikely to punish UNC in any way for its ongoing academic fraud. Although the NCAA later reversed course, the perception lingered that Tar Heel Basketball was “above the law.”
The NCAA still hasn’t issued its final verdict on the scandal.
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