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UNC Scandal - Perhaps Not Quite Over Yet

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Syracuse v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 16: The mascot for the North Carolina Tar Heels in action against the Syracuse Orange during their game at the Dean Smith Center on January 16, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As the NCAA noted, UNLV-CH said one thing to that organization and another to the accreditation agency SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission).

In a nutshell it’s this: UNC promised SACS that it would not honor the “paper classes” at the heart of the scandal.

Yet when the NCAA asked, UNC said the classes were legitimate and that telling SACS that they constituted “academic fraud” was - get this - a typo.

UNC is up for reaccreditation next month and Belle Wheelan, who heads up the commission, expects some answers.

She appears to have something of an ally in Tom Fetzer. The former Raleigh mayor who is now a lobbyist is also now a member of the UNC system’s Board of Governors and he has been quite outspoken lately about the abuses, saying this: “I am nonplussed that SACS has not queried UNC about complying with their earlier agreements, especially in light of the NCAA opinion.”

He had also criticized UNC for giving A.D. Bubba Cunningham a lucrative and unusual raise, arguing that it was essentially rewarding bad behavior.

UNC proved it could jerk the NCAA around. Since SACS has the ability to yank its academic credentials, and since UNC had told it previously that those classes did in fact constitute academic fraud, it’s going to have to be a lot more creative about how it maintains the fiction that the classes were in fact not fraudulent.

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