Heads are already rolling since today’s release of an independent academic investigation into Chapel Hill’s African-American studies program and the fraud that existed within it. The 131-page document outlined a culture based on creating “paper classes” that were solely meant to keep UNC athletes eligible to play their respective sports. These classes were then encouraged by athletic academic advisors and coaches. As a result, Chancellor Carol Holt has terminated four employees implicated in the probe and placed five others under disciplinary review.
A sobering independent investigation into academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill released Wednesday prompted Chancellor Carol Folt to commit to holding accountable all current university staff implicated in the report, including initiating termination against four and disciplinary review for another five.
The 18-year scheme generated inflated grades through lecture-style classes that had been quietly converted into bogus independent studies. The report, released Wednesday afternoon, found a new culprit: the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes.
Kenneth Wainstein, a former top U.S. Justice Department official, found that the academic counselors had pushed for the easy classes and embraced those started by Deborah Crowder, a longtime manager for the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. The report describes a fairly broad group of academic and athletic officials who knew about athletes getting better grades in classes that required only papers, yet took little or no action.
According to Wainstein’s investigation, head basketball coach Roy Williams was one of the coaches that questioned the use of paper classes and eventually steered his players away from enrolling in them.
According to the data in Wainstein’s report, the men’s basketball team’s enrollments in paper classes peaked during the 2003-04 season and declined slightly and remained steady over the next three years. Enrollments declined sharply during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
The numbers helped shape Wainstein’s conclusion that concerns raised by Williams and former assistant Joe Holladay led to a decrease in the number of the team’s enrollments in paper classes.
There has been no word as to what the NCAA will do with these findings, but UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham says he does not plan to self-sanction the athletic program.
I guess Rashad McCants wasn’t the big liar some made him out to be.