Former UNC Tar Heel guard Rashad McCants pulled the UNC academic scandal back into the limelight when he alleged that he rarely attended classes during a semester in which he received straight A’s and made the dean’s list. But while the NCAA never responded to those claims, they announced today that they have reopened their investigation into the scandal.
“The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was cited by the Division I Committee on Infractions in 2012 for violations in its athletics program, including academic misconduct,” the NCAA said in a statement released earlier today. “As with any case, the NCAA enforcement staff makes clear it will revisit the matter if additional information becomes available. After determining that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might be willing to speak with the enforcement staff, the NCAA has reopened its investigation.”
The investigation began back in 2011, when the NCAA began looking into classes being offered by North Carolina’s African and Afro-American Studies department. In 2012, the University announced that they had found discrepancies in 54 classes taught over a four year stretch beginning in 2007, including grade changes, fake attendance reports and rampant academic fraud but their subsequent sanctions only applied to UNC’s football program. The football program is still under probation and recovering from penalties that included a bowl ban after the 2012 season.
But while the NCAA has announced that they have found additional information about the case, it remains to be seen whether McCants is the one supplying them with information. The UNC basketball reaction to McCants’ initial statement was overwhelmingly harsh, with North Carolina coach Roy Williams saying he was in “shock” and “disbelief” about the accusations. Additionally, multiple athletes took to Twitter to denounce McCants, who won an NCAA title with the 2004-2005 basketball team. If there’s new testimony involved it could link the men’s basketball program to the scandal, opening up a new round of sanctions.
The stern response from those inside Chapel Hill could pale in comparison to what the NCAA has in store. Now that the NCAA has new information and is reopening their investigation, it could be a long summer for everyone involved with the Tar Heels.