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UNC athletic investigator to report to board Friday

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Ken Wainstein, the former federal prosecutor retained to conduct an independent investigation of past academic irregularities at UNC-Chapel Hill, will give the UNC system Board of Governors an update on his work Friday.

Wainstein, a partner with the Washington law firm of Cadwalader, Wiskersham, & Taft, will address the scope of his work and the progress of his independent investigation. He has emphasized that his investigation is not complete and that he has not reached any conclusions.

Carolina hired Wainstein in February. Wainstein has the cooperation of two key figures in the academic investigation. The attorney of Julius Nyang'oro, the former chairman of the formerly named Department of African and Afro-American studies, has told The News and Observer that Nyang’oro would cooperate with Wainstein. The attorney of Deborah Crowder, the former department manager, told the Associated Press that she has cooperated with Wainstein as well.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, in a statement released in February, said, "The independent counselor will have the freedom to ask the tough questions, follow the facts wherever they lead, and get the job done."

Wainstein's announcement comes after earlier this month, former UNC basketball player Rashad McCants told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he took no-show classes, and that North Carolina basketball head coach Roy Williams knew about them. Williams has denied knowing McCants took no-show classes and denied McCants’ suggestion that other basketball players did as well.

UNC has conducted many other internal investigations, including one by James Martin, a former governor of North Carolina. Martin concluded that the academic scandal with the football program was indeed just that, an academic scandal, and not an athletic scandal. Martin’s probe implicated only Nyang’oro and Crowder, which sparked skepticism about how much Martin had really uncovered.

UNC also formed a group of academic specialists to conduct an independent review of former academic adviser Mary Willingham's data and claim regarding the reading levels of some players.

The Board of Governors meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the main board room of the Spangler Center located at 910 Raleigh Road in Chapel Hill. Seating will be limited.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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