August 14, 2015 / 10:55 PM / 4 years ago

University of North Carolina cites possible new violations in athletics

(Reuters) - The University of North Carolina, facing allegations of academic fraud related to its athletic programs, said on Friday it had found two more potential violations involving men’s soccer and women’s basketball players.

The Chapel Hill school was given until next week to respond to allegations of fraud made by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in June. The NCAA said the violations between 2002 and 2011 included a lack of institutional control over staff members who arranged improper benefits for student-athletes.

The university discovered two new possible violations while conducting its own investigations into the NCAA allegations, according to a statement posted on the school’s website.

One involved improper academic assistance to some former members of the women’s basketball team, the statement said, and the other related to recruiting of male soccer players.

The school said it had reported the issues to the NCAA. The findings meant a response to the allegations could be delayed beyond the original Aug. 18 deadline, and the school would await a new date from the NCAA, the statement said.

“There is no question this has been a long and challenging process, and it is one we are committed to finishing as we started – by cooperating fully with the NCAA, adhering to obligations under the NCAA’s rules, and working tirelessly to secure a fair and just outcome for Carolina,” Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said in a statement.

The NCAA allegations included suspicions that special arrangements helped ensure the academic eligibility of athletes who were at risk of losing it, particularly in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Last year an independent investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein disclosed that more than 3,000 students at the university had received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period.

Earlier this year, two former North Carolina athletes sued the NCAA and the university, accusing the NCAA of ignoring the cases of academic fraud.

In June, UNC was given a 12-month probation by its accrediting commission after a review found the school violated seven standards, including integrity, control of intercollegiate athletics and academic freedom.

Reporting by Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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