The NCAA has sent the University of North Carolina a notice of inquiry confirming that it is investigating the football program and saying the investigation should be concluded this month.
However, further steps would follow, meaning the conclusion could still be weeks or months away.
The NCAA letter to Chancellor Holden Thorp, from NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Julie Roe Lach, says, "The purpose of this letter is to advise you that the NCAA has begun an investigation into the institution’s athletics program in accordance with the provisions of NCAA Bylaw 32.5 of the NCAA enforcement procedures."
The letter said, "It is the present intention of the enforcement staff to complete this investigation during June 2011."
The next step would be a notice of allegations, according to Stacie Osburn, NCAA spokesperson. She said after there is a notice of allegations, the school and all affected parties have 90 days to respond. After that, Osburn said, a committee would review the allegations and make a decision on whether NCAA rules were violated.
"A notice of allegations details for the school and anyone involved with the case the potential violations that the enforcement staff uncovered," Osburn said. "There is a separate body, a committee of our members, that is actually the body that determines if the violations did in fact occur."
NCAA officials initially contacted the University via phone on June 21, 2010 and conducted their first interviews with members of the football program on July 12, according to UNC.
"The notice of inquiry is a formal notification from the NCAA that they have been reviewing our football program," UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour said in a statement. "We have been working with the NCAA and cooperating with them on this investigation. We are committed to the process and will continue to cooperate."
UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner said late Tuesday that the school will await a notice of allegations and has not definitive timetable on that.
The letter states that Mike Zonder and Stephanie Hannah of the NCAA staff will coordinate the processing of the case.