UNC's hearing with NCAA concludes

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UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, Coach Roy Williams, and women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell arrive at the hearing.

After close to 15 hours of talks over two days in Nashville, UNC's meeting with the NCAA's committee on infractions has come to an end.

Both parties left without any comments to the assembled media.

North Carolina spokesperson Steve Kirschner said they will not release a statement as they "can't talk about the hearing and can't talk about the facts of the case so there is nothing to add at this time."
The next step for the infractions committee is to deliberate which will produce a report to be released in a 60 to 90 day period. Two versions of that report will be released, one for public consumption, the other to be sent to UNC. The only difference in the reports will be redacted names.

The NCAA report contains penalties and sanctions being levied against Carolina. UNC would then have an opportunity to appeal either one or all punishments sending the case into another stage. That would create another hearing with yet another committee (infraction appeals committee) which would produce the final decision on sanctions.

The charges include lack of institutional control in a case tied to irregular courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. The case is an offshoot of a 2010 football probe, with the NCAA reopening an investigation in summer 2014, filing charges in May 2015, revising them in April 2016 and then again in December.

UNC's representatives at the hearing included football coach Larry Fedora and women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell. Jan Boxill and Deborah Crowder, two former UNC employees charged individually in the case, also attended with their attorneys.

None of the coaches are charged with a violation. But football and men's basketball are referenced in a broad-based improper benefits charge tied to athlete access to the irregular courses, while women's basketball is tied to a charge focused on a former professor and academic counselor providing improper assistance on assignments.

Fedora wasn't working at UNC during the time in question.

The focus is independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn't meet and required a research paper or two for typically high grades. In a 2014 investigation, former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011, with athletes making up roughly half the enrollments.

The NCAA has said UNC used those courses to help keep athletes eligible.

UNC has challenged the NCAA's jurisdiction, saying its accreditation agency -- which sanctioned the school with a year of probation -- was the proper authority. In a May filing, the school stated it "fundamentally believes that the matters at issue here were of an academic nature" and don't involve NCAA bylaws.

The NCAA enforcement staff countered in a July filing: "The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA's business."

UNC has argued nonathletes had access to the courses and athletes didn't receive special treatment.

ESPN and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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