UNC says resignation of athletic official not related to probe

acarter@newsobserver.comDecember 1, 2012 

— The resignation of the University of North Carolina’s associate athletic director for compliance is not related to ongoing problems that have plagued the athletic department, UNC officials said Thursday.

Amy Herman informed athletic director Bubba Cunningham weeks ago that she would be resigning. Her final day is Friday. Cunningham and Steve Kirschner, an athletic department spokesman, both said Herman is resigning for personal reasons.

Herman’s tenure coincided with an NCAA investigation that found impermissible benefits involving agents and academic fraud within the UNC football program. In March, the NCAA handed out sanctions that included a one-season postseason ban and scholarship cuts, among other penalties.

During the NCAA investigation, Herman, in a September 2011 deposition, said that she had been advised to avoid creating documents that would have been subject to North Carolina’s open records law.

More recently, UNC’s athletic department has come under scrutiny because of the high percentage of athletes – especially football and men’s basketball players – who were enrolled over a period of several years in suspect Afro- and African-American Studies courses. Many of those courses featured little or no instruction.

Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin is leading an inquiry into the problematic AFAM courses. Part of his investigation has focused on how so many athletes wound up in so many courses that lacked instruction.

Cunningham in August reorganized the compliance department and hired Vince Ille, formerly of the University of Illinois, to lead it. Since then, Herman has reported to Ille. Herman was not forced out, Cunningham said.

He added that Herman’s resignation shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign that UNC might face further scrutiny from the NCAA or that UNC has discovered additional NCAA violations.

“There’s not a deep, dark secret,” Cunningham said.

Herman’s resignation leaves two vacancies in UNC’s compliance department. The other is for an assistant director of compliance for rules education.

Carter: 919-829-8944 Twitter: @_andrewcarter

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