The NCAA has told UNC officials to expect to receive a notice of allegations on or around June 10 stemming from its investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct within the football program first reported by Inside Carolina last summer.
Next Friday represents the latest date in a list of timelines that have passed by in recent months. Prior to a May 18 visit to interview Quinton Coples pertaining to his attendance at a NFL draft party, NCAA investigators had not been on UNC's campus in several months. During that period of time, the NCAA enforcement staff indicated that a notice of allegations would be sent on at least two other occasions. Those timelines came and went without any findings being delivered.
A UNC official declined to comment on the investigation when contacted Friday night.
Multiple sources indicate that North Carolina is expecting the notice of allegations to highlight nine infractions, including failure to monitor charges in relation to former assistant coach John Blake, former tutor Jennifer Wiley and former player Chris Hawkins. North Carolina is expected to avoid a lack of institutional control charge.
Lack of institutional control centers on if there are adequate policies and procedures in place for an institution to comply with NCAA rules, and if those steps were being monitored and enforced by designated individuals at the time of a violation. A failure to monitor occurs when those policies and procedures are in place to comply with NCAA rules, but the institution failed to fully monitor specific areas of the program for limited periods of time.
Multiple sources indicate that UNC is likely to lose a minimal amount of scholarships and will be placed on probation for several years, while a forfeiture of wins is also a possibility. Restrictions on postseason play or television contracts are not expected. However, NCAA guidelines state that proposed penalties are not discussed until after the school responds to its notice of allegations.
Once the notice of allegations is received, North Carolina will have 90 days to respond and may request additional time, if needed. According to NCAA guidelines, once the university has responded, a hearing date is set with the Committee on Infractions.
However, if all involved parties agree on the facts and penalties presented, a summary disposition, consisting of a cooperative process between the school and enforcement staff, can take the place of the hearing. The Committee on Infractions would then review the report in private and decide whether or not to accept the findings.
One procedural detail that has drawn interest over the past year is the fact that North Carolina has yet to receive an official letter of inquiry from the NCAA enforcement staff. NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn wrote in an email to Inside Carolina that "the enforcement staff will send a notice of inquiry to the school president or chancellor once it has determined credible information exists that point to major violations. This notice advises the president that the enforcement staff will be undertaking an investigation."
NCAA procedural guidelines specifically state that once a letter of inquiry is sent, the enforcement staff must send a notice of allegations within six months or provide detailed status reports every six months.
However, the NCAA's "Enforcement Experience" seminar last month explained that a letter of inquiry is often sent toward the end of an investigation, Sports Illustrated reported.
Osburn also wrote in an email that a letter of inquiry arrives in letter form.
North Carolina is less than three weeks away from the anniversary date of this entire NCAA ordeal. According to documents received through a public records request, Assistant Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities Chance Miller emailed interview notice forms to UNC on June 21, 2010, and scheduled the interviews to occur on July 12 and July 13.
North Carolina officials held a press conference to discuss its investigation into academic misconduct shortly after Inside Carolina broke the news on Aug. 26. Nine days later, UNC declared six players ineligible and withheld seven other players from the season opener against LSU. In all, 14 different Tar Heels missed at least one game due to their involvement in the investigation.