Local/State

Thorp acknowledges his own NCAA violation

Monday, August 08, 2011

ABC11 has obtained a copy of the report from the UNC Task Force on Athletics and Academics days before it will be presented to the UNC System Board of Governors.

The task force, which is comprised of representatives from across the UNC System, has come up with recommendations to prevent the embarrassment already felt by programs like UNC Chapel Hill football.

UNC's problems began last year when the school announced it was looking into academic misconduct and allegations that players got perks from professional sports agents.

The investigation of the football program soon expanded into possible academic misconduct involving multiple players and a tutor.

In all, 14 players missed at least one game because of the probe with seven being ruled out for the entire year. An eighth was cleared to return at mid-season, but decided to redshirt.

The university has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA outlining numerous "potential major violations" in the football program, including unethical conduct by a former assistant coach as well as failure to adequately monitor the conduct of a former and current players.

Following the announcement of the dual investigations, the task force was formed in August 2010 to identify and prioritize risks, from academic fraud to NCAA compliance, involving student-athletes throughout the UNC system.

"The problem is real," ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said in March. "It doesn't have to get worse. We have a major role to play."

Ballard, who is the chairman of the UNC System Task Force, has admitted that he and several other university leaders had their work cut out for them.

In the group's final report, they detail six risk areas - the admissions process, definition of academic success, ethical standards, academic support, capacity of compliance and review of compliance and athletic programs - involving student-athletes within the entire UNC system.

Click here to read the report

The task force states it believes the risks will continue to increase " ... in large part because of the money and prestige associated with athletics success, as well as a series of cultural and technological factors that make some forms of academic misconduct easy to commit and virtually impossible to prevent."

In an effort to heighten awareness, the group recommends three plans of action - integration of athletics programs, system oversight and monitoring, along with funding.

"Risks are not manageable by the campuses alone; assistance is needed at the UNC system level, conference level, or other forms of oversight. While the NCAA provides a compliance oversight function, more attention must be paid to the academic integrity function," the report stated.

The entire report is scheduled to be presented to the UNC System Board of Governors late next week during its regular August meetings.

Meanwhile due the scandal over academic misconduct and allegations of improper perks from agents, Butch Davis' reign as head football coach at UNC Chapel Hill came to an end last week.

UNC Chapel Hill is scheduled to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in October.

Chancellor Holden Thorp admits he committed NCAA violation

Friday afternoon Chancellor Holden Thorp released a statement acknowledging he violated a NCAA policy.

During a newspaper interview Thursday, Thorp says he was frustrated that Davis offered a scholarship to his own son, Drew Davis, who is a quarterback at East Chapel Hill High School.

"Yesterday I honestly answered a specific question asked by a reporter about a scholarship offer to a prospective student-athlete," Thorp said in his statement released via email. "I am advised that acknowledging the scholarship offer was an NCAA Level II Secondary violation, which I regret. In accordance with NCAA policy the University has voluntarily reported this to the ACC."

According to UNC, by NCAA definition (bylaw 19.02.2.1), a secondary violation is one that "that is isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage and does not include any significant impermissible benefit (including, but not limited to, an extra benefit, recruiting inducement, preferential treatment or financial aid)."

Most secondary cases are self-reported either by the institution or through a conference office.

Thorp's violation is not related to the violations the university is currently facing.

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