Officials at North Carolina are still hopeful that a long-running NCAA investigation can conclude sometime in the spring. The likelihood of that, though, depends on how quickly UNC receives its amended Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA.
How quickly the case is resolved also depends on what the amended NOA contains, Bubba Cunningham, the UNC athletic director, said in an interview Thursday. The contents of the NOA will determine the timeline for the rest of the case, Cunningham said.
In August, UNC was days away from the deadline to respond to the first NOA, which it received from the NCAA in May. Four days before the deadline, though, UNC announced it had supplied additional details of potential violations to the NCAA.
The case has been in a holding pattern ever since. When UNC submitted those new details to the NCAA, the question then was whether the new information would prompt the NCAA to send an amended NOA back to UNC.
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Cunningham has said in the months since that UNC would indeed receive an amended NOA. The question for a while now is when exactly UNC will receive it. In August, Cunningham said he was hopeful the NCAA would provide it within 60 says.
That 60-day window closed in October. And, still, there’s no indication of when UNC will receive its amended NOA. When it does, the university will have another 90 days to respond to it – but Cunningham said on Thursday he wasn’t sure whether UNC would need the full 90 days.
How long it takes UNC to respond, he said, depends on the contents of the amended NOA. Cunningham said he hoped to have a better idea by next week of when UNC might receive its new NOA.
Either way, it appears there’s no end in sight to a case that continues to drag on. After UNC receives its amended NOA, the university would have to respond to it. And then, after that response, the NCAA Committee on Infractions would have to hear UNC’s case.
After that happens, it could still take several months for the committee to issue its ultimate ruling. And depending on that ruling, UNC would have the option to appeal. And so while Cunningham is still hopeful for a spring resolution, it appears that a summer or fall resolution might be more likely.