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UNC hit with accreditation board's 'most serious sanction' amid sports scandal

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Twelve months academic probation, with NCAA punishments likely coming soon as well.

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The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the commission that accredits the University of North Carolina, has placed UNC on 12 months probation after seven violations including academic integrity and a failure to monitor sports, the board announced Thursday.

Yes, it's the same scandal that's involved the school's athletics programs since 2010.

UNC will have to show in 12 months that it's effectively reformed in order to retain accreditation, which basically means college certification. A school that failed probation and lost accreditation would see its enrollment plummet. SACSCOC president Belle Wheelan said "it's the most serious sanction we have," via the News & Observer's Dan Kane and Jane Stancill.

An estimated 3,100 students, nearly half of whom were athletes, took suspect classes at North Carolina. This "shadow curriculum" reportedly lasted 18 years.

This was the second review of UNC by the SACSCOC, and it came after the NCAA announced five allegations against the school last week.

Despite the noise around the scandal, SB Nation's Mike Rutherford says it will likely end quietly for athletics. The NCAA is expected to make its decision on any sports-related punishments soon.