University of North Carolina Athletes Took Sham Classes

University of North Carolina Athletes Took Sham Classes

School-commissioned report finds Tar Heels players were set up to receive good grades.

Published October 23, 2014

It turns out that there was truth to some of the academic fraud that Rashad McCants alleged was going on at the University of North Carolina after all.

On Wednesday, according to ESPN, UNC released its investigative report, showing that the school’s academic advisors in its athletic department secretly worked with a manager in the African and Afro-American Studies apartment to facilitate student-athletes taking classes to boost their GPAs and enable them to remain academically eligible so that they could continue playing their respective sports. Student-athletes typically earned an A or B-plus grade as part of the scheme, which reportedly ran over an 18-year period from 1993-2011.

The report states that when Debby Crowder, the manager in the African and Afro-American Studies department, stepped down in 2009, Julius Nyang’oro, the ex-chairman of the same department, was persuaded to maintain the program.

"The Crowder/Nyang'oro scheme marked a horrible chapter in the history of this great university," North Carolina president Thomas Ross said Wednesday during a meeting about the report, according to ESPN. "From the beginning, the university has taken the position that these classes started in an academic department by a person employed by academic side of university...and the athletic department took advantage of it.”

The investigative report doesn’t name coaches or athletic administrators as part of scheme, although Kenneth Wainstein, a former FBI counsel who’s leading the investigation for UNC, says that coaches knew there were “easy classes.” The NCAA hasn't levied any punishment to the school as of press time.

During the summer, McCants, a former UNC Tar Heels basketball star, alleged that it was common for the school’s basketball players to major in African-American Studies for passing grades.The school-authorized investigation couldn’t corroborate his claims that tutors wrote papers for the team’s players.

UNC didn’t state how much longer the investigation into the matter will continue. 

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(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Written by BET-Staff

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