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North Carolina avoids major penalties in academic violations case

| Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 11:03 a.m.
FILE - From left, in Aug. 16, 2017, file photos, University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, University of North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham, University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams, University of North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora and University of North Carolina women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell arrive at an NCAA hearing in Nashville, Tenn. Three people with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, that the NCAA infractions panel handling North Carolina’s multi-year academic case plans to release its report Friday. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)
FILE - From left, in Aug. 16, 2017, file photos, University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, University of North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham, University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams, University of North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora and University of North Carolina women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell arrive at an NCAA hearing in Nashville, Tenn. Three people with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, that the NCAA infractions panel handling North Carolina’s multi-year academic case plans to release its report Friday. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

North Carolina has avoided major penalties after an NCAA infractions committee panel “could not conclude” there were academic violations in the multi-year case focused on irregular courses.

The NCAA released its report Friday morning. The panel said it found only two violations out of five charges the school originally faced: a failure-to-cooperate charge against two people tied to the problem courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department.

Only two people at North Carolina ultimately received NCAA sanctions in the multi-year academic case.

Former department chairman Julius Nyang'oro and retired office administrator Deborah Crowder were charged with refusing to cooperate with the NCAA probe. Nyang'oro refused to interview with NCAA investigators after the case was reopened in 2014. Crowder reconsidered and interviewed with investigators in May.

Nyang'oro received a five-year show-cause penalty lasting until Oct. 12, 2022. Crowder was not punished, but the NCAA says it is making note of her initial lack of cooperation.

The school avoided major penalties Friday when the NCAA said it “could not conclude” academic violations took place. The investigation's focus was on independent study-style courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department chaired by Nyang'oro.

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