The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s lawsuit against the NCAA’s treatment of Penn State University in the wake of the school’s Jerry Sandusky sex scandal has an extremely interesting local angle: it cites the Â UNC athletics academic fraud scandal. Â The litigation claims that the Penn State is being punished for matters outside of the scope and reach of college sports governing organization while it simultaneously ignores other schools’ transgressions that are well within the enforcement powers of the NCAA, but upon discovery, it has done very little:
56. The NCAA’s attempt to insert itself [in the Penn State scandal] is so inconsistent with its prior conduct in similar situations that it can be only be seen as a clumsy attempt to garner positive publicity for itself by harming a competitive member school. Â There are a number of publicly reported examples of criminal conduct conducted by college athletes where the university leadership is alleged to have covered up or enabled the crimes–and the NCAA did little, if anything, about it:
(d) A recent internal investigation at the University of NorthÂ Carolina revealed massive academic fraud, including unauthorized gradeÂ changes by forged signatures, and classes in which no instruction took place;Â approximately forty percent of the students enrolled in these classes wereÂ football and basketball players. In August 2012, one month afterÂ sanctioning Penn State, the NCAA took the public position that none of theÂ alleged conduct violated NCAA rules.
Whether one agrees with the central claim of the lawsuit, that the NCAA is in violation of antitrust laws and that it is harming the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it is nevertheless interesting that the UNC case with the NCAA has not only become ongoing fodder in the news, it is also now part and parcel of a lawsuit sure to gather a great deal of news in the coming weeks.