In July 2010, the NCAA launched an investigation that led to sanctions against the UNC-Chapel Hill football program. The probe helped uncover financial ties between a sports agent and UNC’s top assistant coach, as well as improper academic help provided by a tutor and a range of gifts that were offered and accepted by football players.
The NCAA leveled its formal allegations against UNC in June 2011. The case led to a loss of scholarships and other penalties through a process that was finalized early in 2013.
But the investigation failed to catch an even bigger scandal: UNC’s African studies department chairman and his assistant had created dozens of classes that were supposed to be lecture-style, but never met. Among multiple inquiries was one led by an auditing and consulting firm with former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin focusing on the African studies department.
July 8, 2012: N&O reports that athletes made up a majority of enrollments in the more than 40 “no-show” classes. UNC says academic problems do not mean NCAA rules were violated.
July 20, 2013: The N&O reports that UNC correspondence shows faculty leader Jan Boxill succeeded in getting a last-minute revision to a faculty executive committee report that removed a concern that Crowder's "extremely close" ties to athletics might have caused her to help enroll athletes in no-show classes. Boxill, a former academic counselor for athletes, told the report's authors the concern "could further raise NCAA issues and that is not the intention." She later said she was not trying to water down the report, but remove "innuendos."
Sources: UNC-Chapel Hill, NCAA, UNC Board of Governors, News & Observer reporting