The investigation of North Carolina's football program has expanded into possible academic misconduct pertaining to a tutor and various football players. The woman in question has also worked as a tutor for head coach Butch Davis' son.
Inside Carolina reported on Thursday afternoon that UNC officials uncovered the academic issues in their own review and self-reported the findings to the NCAA. Sources report the various players involved were relegated to the scout team at practice on Wednesday.
North Carolina called an emergency press conference for Thursday night less than an hour after Inside Carolina broke the story around 2 p.m.
UNC chancellor Holden Thorp, director of athletics Dick Baddour and head coach Butch Davis were all present to provide an update to the ongoing NCAA investigation.
"During the course of the joint investigation of the NCAA and the University into possible agent violations, we learned of a situation that includes possible academic misconduct involving a former undergraduate tutor and student athletes on the football team," Thorp told a crowded room of reporters at the Kenan Football Center.
Baddour declined to identify the players or the tutor, and would not say how many players were involved. Inside Carolina has learned that as many as a dozen players could be involved in this recent development.
Baddour, who has consistently told reporters that there is no timetable for the NCAA review, indicated that "it is likely that the review would extend beyond the start of the season."
The NCAA has permitted UNC to lead the academic misconduct portion of the investigation that involve possible improprieties that occured outside the classroom.
The tutor was employed by UNC at one time, according to Baddour, but by the time a player "raised an issue" during a joint interview with school officials and the NCAA, the woman was no longer working for the university. Davis had hired the woman to serve as a tutor and advisor for his son, a current high school sophomore.
"This is someone that obviously worked with our son," Davis said. "To be honest with you, I think we're really surprised and possibly disappointed, but there's been no revelation as to exactly the extent or what has actually transpired."
These academic findings are a new element to the ongoing NCAA probe.
UNC received an interview notice form on June 21 from the NCAA, which requested to interview student-athletes. Inside Carolina broke the story on July 15 that the investigation centered on possible improper contact with sports agents.
Telephone and financial release forms were requested for the student-athletes involved, as well as text message printouts for the past year. The interviews were conducted on July 12-13, and the NCAA returned to UNC for a second round of interviews on Aug 4-5.