NCAA Investigating 20 Athletic Departments for Academic Improprieties

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North Carolina may have some partners in crime now that Jonathan Duncan, the NCAA’s new head of enforcement, is investigating allegations of misconduct within 20 different athletic departments.

John Taylor, reporting for NBC Sports, says the schools involved were not named, nor were the sports that were involved, but the divisions were broken down: 18 Div. I schools, and one Division II and Division III levels. The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) said:

“[t]he cases are at various stages, from preliminary inquiry to awaiting a hearing with the Division I Committee on Infractions, and they involve a variety of missteps, including allegations that players received impermissible assistance from professors, academic advisers, or people outside of an athletic department.” 

It seems that the widespread academic misconduct at UNC has been a catalyst for the increased spotlight on academic improprieties.

“The timing is right to dedicate more resources to this,” Katherine Sulentic, chairperson of the enforcement division’s academic-integrity group, said. “Everyone’s antenna is up about academic fraud on a college campus in general.”

The NCAA investigation follows an eight-month investigation at the University of North Carolina, which has left the school still struggling through the backlash. One repercussion is that UNC’s accrediting commission, the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges, is questioning the school’s “institutional integrity” in an investigation of its own, reports the Charlotte Observer.

Marissa Payne of The Washington Post reports that the UNC debacle led to the NCAA’s establishment of an academic integrity group within its own enforcement department, and is planning to go even further.