HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- A defense attorney says a former professor at the center of an academic scandal involving athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will plead not guilty to a felony fraud charge.
Julius Nyang'Oro was chairman of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies and is accused of receiving $12,000 for a lecture course while holding no classes.
After a first appearance hearing Tuesday, attorney Bill Thomas said Nyang'Oro would plead not guilty. He says it was an "unfortunate decision" to charge Nyang'Oro.
A trial date of Dec. 17 was set for Nyang'Oro, who had turned himself in to authorities earlier Tuesday and released on $30,000 bond.
He could face up to 10 months in prison if convicted. The university said it recouped the $12,000.