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Timeline: Thorp’s five years as chancellor

2008

May: Holden Thorp, dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences, is elected the university’s 10th chancellor.

October 12: Thorp formally installed as chancellor on the university’s 215th birthday.

October: University agrees to pay $900,000 for renovations to chancellor’s residence.

2009

January 9: UNC-CH drops plans for a new airport site in Orange County, in part because of opposition from county commissioners.

February: University officials warn that budget cuts could result in the elimination of more than 1,600 jobs, the cancellation of hundreds of courses and scaled-back library hours. Thorp announces that Bain & Co., a global business consulting firm, has been enlisted to help find ways to improve and streamline operations and “perhaps achieve additional cost savings.”

March 6: Thorp announces that the university will cut ties with Russell Athletic, an athletic apparel company, over labor issues at its Honduran plants.

March 24: Thorp scraps a plan to give free campus parking passes to former university trustees.

March 26: UNC-CH’s Board of Trustees extends the contract for athletic director Dick Baddour by three years.

April 15: Thorp and UNC System President Erskine Bowles apologize to Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado for student protests during a speech Tancredo was invited to give.

2010

July 12-13: NCAA investigators interview UNC-CH athletes, including defensive tackle Marvin Austin and wide receiver Greg Little, regarding whether players received improper benefits.

Aug. 26: UNC-CH announces an investigation of possible academic misconduct involving football players and a former undergraduate tutor who once worked for coach Butch Davis.

Sept. 3: UNC-CH declares seven football players, including Austin and Little, ineligible for the season opener against Louisiana State.

Sept. 5: Associate head football coach John Blake resigns.

Sept. 8: Phone records show frequent communications between Blake and sports agent Gary Wichard.

Dec. 2: Through a statement from her lawyer, former UNC-CH tutor Jennifer Wiley says, “Coach Davis and his family played no part whatsoever in the matters under investigation” as related to her.

2011

June 21: The NCAA sends the university a notice alleging nine major violations in the football program involving academic misconduct and impermissible benefits.

July 1: Former UNC-CH football player Michael McAdoo’s term paper made public in a lawsuit filed by McAdoo and was discovered to contain numerous passages plagiarized from other sources.

July 27: UNC-CH fires Davis.

Sept. 1: Julius Nyang’oro resigns as chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies Department at UNC-CH. He missed McAdoo’s plagiarism, allowed Austin to attend an upper-level class while an incoming freshman, and hired a sports agent to teach a summer class. The university announces an investigation into “possible irregularities” in the department.

Sept. 19: UNC-CH announces self-sanctions, including the reduction of nine football scholarships over three years and the vacating of all 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Oct. 28: Thorp and departing athletics director Baddour appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Blake also appears.

Nov. 14: McAdoo’s lawsuit, which sought to restore his eligibility as well as damages from UNC-CH and the NCAA, is dismissed by Durham County Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

2012

March : NCAA rules that UNC-CH football team must serve a one-year postseason ban in 2012 and eliminate five football scholarships per year in each of the next three academic years. The committee also increased UNC-CH’s self-imposed probationary period from two years to three.

May 4: UNC-CH investigation finds 54 classes in the department in which there is little or no evidence of instruction, among them classes McAdoo and Austin took. Nyang’oro is directly connected to 45 of the classes. Data later released show 36 percent of the enrollments are football players. Nyang’oro is allowed to retire.

May 10: The News & Observer reports that Nyang’oro received $12,000 in additional pay to teach a summer class that the internal probe found to have no classroom instruction.

May 14: Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall announces a criminal investigation in light of the summer pay.

Aug. 3: Robert Mercer, director of the university’s academic support program for athletes since 2002, is told he will be reassigned.

Aug. 16: Thorp announces that former Gov. Jim Martin and management consulting firm Virchow, Krause & Co. will conduct a review to look for “any additional academic irregularities that may have occurred.” He also announces a restructuring of the academic support unit for student athletes, including removing a line of authority between the unit and the athletic department.

Aug. 31: The NCAA announces that it found no evidence that its rules were violated during the academic misconduct in UNC-CH’s African and Afro-American Studies Department.

Sept. 9: UNC-CH Chief fundraiser Matt Kupec resigns after an internal investigation showed he and Tami Hansbrough, mother of former basketball star Tyler Hansbrough, appeared to have taken personal trips at the university’s expense.

Sept. 12: Fundraiser Tami Hansbrough resigns.

Sept. 14: Thorp meets with the UNC Board of Governors in a closed-door session.

Sept. 17: Thorp says he will resign at the end of the school year.

Source: N&O Archives

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