University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh said last week that he thinks the NCAA's investigation into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's academic-athletic scandal would lead to the harshest penalties a school can receive, according to a recording obtained by The News & Observer. During a university senate meeting Thursday in College Park, Loh called the scandals at North Carolina "abysmal" and said they would lead to the NCAA's levying the so-called death penalty, The News & Observer reported. A Maryland spokesman said Monday night that Loh's comments "are not a reflection of personal beliefs about the university [North Carolina] or its leadership." The North Carolina newspaper received an audio file of a portion of the open meeting, including the question-and-answer section in which Loh commented on the former Atlantic Coast Conference rival. Asked by someone who identified himself as a Maryland faculty member about the "corrupting influence of athletics," according to The News & Observer, Loh said that as president, he sits over "a number of dormant volcanoes." "One of them is an athletic scandal. It blows up, it blows up the university, its reputation, it blows up the president," Loh said, according to the report. "For the things that happened in North Carolina, it's abysmal. I would think that this would lead to the implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA. But I'm not in charge of that." A North Carolina official told The News & Observer that "[c]learly, Dr. Loh misunderstands the facts of the case, and how NCAA bylaws apply to those facts." Brian Ullmann, the Maryland spokesman, said Loh's remarks are "an example of the challenges that leaders in academia face as universities continue to grapple with balancing athletics with our overarching mission of research and scholarship. "It's clear that he is not advocating for any one outcome and trusts that all involved are working toward the same goal of rooting out wrongdoing wherever we see it on an academic campus."