North Carolina

NCAA reopening investigation into UNC academic fraud

Posted June 30, 2014

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— The NCAA has notified UNC-Chapel Hill that it is reopening its 2011 investigation into academic irregularities at the school, athletics director Bubba Cunningham said Monday.

"The NCAA has determined that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might now be willing to speak with the enforcement staff," Cunningham said in a statement.

"The enforcement staff is exploring this new information to ensure an exhaustive investigation is conducted based on all available information," a statement by the NCAA said. The NCAA also said that, as with any case, the enforcement staff makes it clear that it will revisit previous infractions if additional information becomes available.

Dr. Julius Nyang'oro, who faces a fraud charge for collecting payment for a class that never met at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is cooperating with an investigation there, Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said last week. That cooperation has Woodall considering dropping the charge against Nyang'oro, the former head of the UNC Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

Woodall said Nyang’oro has provided "invaluable information" to Ken Wainstein, the former federal prosecutor hired by the university in February to conduct the latest in a series of probes into the relationship between the Af-Am department and student-athletes. Cunningham said the university instructed Wainstein to share relevant information directly and confidentially with the NCAA.

Earlier this month, former UNC basketball player Rashad McCants, a member of the 2005 National Championship team, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he took classes that required nothing more than a paper and that tutors wrote papers for student-athletes. McCants said he rarely went to class yet remained eligible to play. 

Head basketball coach Roy Williams denied McCants' claims that Williams knew about the classes, and McCants' 16 teammates signed a statement that said, "With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work."

The "paper class" system came to light in January when former UNC academic adviser Mary Willingham claimed the university put player eligibility above academic integrity.

Willingham claimed that, for more than two decades, these no-show classes were prevalent in the African and Afro-American Studies Department.

A 2012 investigation led by former Gov. Jim Martin found problems in that department dating to the mid-1990s. The investigation revealed hundreds of bogus classes and altered and forged grades, but Martin determined that the discrepancies benefited non-athletes who took the classes as well as student-athletes.

Investigations into academic misconduct at North Carolina began in 2009 after allegations of improper benefits within the football program. The NCAA sanctioned the football program for both improper benefits and academic misconduct involving a tutor, leading to a postseason ban and the loss of 16 scholarships.    

179 Comments

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  • TTSCP Jul 3, 2014

    I repeat.....Any, all, everything ewenc IS a farce.

  • heelsforever Jul 3, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Gunny, if we applied the same logic these people use now to State in the 80's when HARDLY any of their basketball players were graduating, we would have made statements like, "no one going to State graduates." Utterly ridiculous thing to say, but that's how they think.

  • Jeanne Gunn Jul 2, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    I can't predict what will happen with regards to paying players; and I don't view the issues at UNC as having anything to do with that. UNC and the O'Bannyon case, which does deal with paying players, are completely different.

    The point I was trying to make is that it's short-sighted to paint the entire University with a broad brush. There's a big difference between some "student"/athletes and students. Cheating certainly went on, but it was a very small percentage of a big student body, and to call them all "cheaters" is not accurate.

  • LuvsThePack Jul 2, 2014

    When one says, "everyone does it," without any evidence that others are indeed "doing it," then they are only speaking for themselves.

    Therefore, it is an admission of YOUR guilt, and no one else's.

  • TTSCP Jul 2, 2014

    Lie lie lie lie Deny lie lie lie lie lie Deny lie !

  • heelsforever Jul 2, 2014

    Blah blah blah blah Cheat blah blah cheat blah blah blah cheat cheat cheat blah blah cheat blah!

  • redwolfone Jul 2, 2014

    View quoted thread


    People hate UNC for what they really are....A bunch of cheaters who want to pass themselves off as being better than everyone else, which we can see clearly now, they ARE NOT.....CHEATERS!

    The NCAA is going to turn UNC inside out. The school has become a liability to the system, therefore it must be addressed. If you for a second believe this is going to lead to a different system where players are payed, your are fooling yourself. The NCAA gets too much money to ever allow that to happen.

    UNC is now a problem they will address.

  • TTSCP Jul 1, 2014

    Any, all, everything ewenc IS a farce.

  • heelsforever Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread


    OS you've been on this site long enough to know that with this crowd 1 or 10 bad apples means the whole dang orchard is diseased. No sir, that dog won't hunt here.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 1, 2014

    Driving home - moments ago - tuned the radio to WCHL & heard Art Chansky doing his "commentary". Chansky basically proposed that UNC counter all the negative stuff about recent (past couple of years) matters involving football, basketball, "paper classes", etc. by inundating the media with UNC athletes that present a very POSITIVE image... and there are many athletes who could be presented as "positive" examples! I don't always agree with Chansky, but in this case it is a worthy thought. Do I believe following his suggestion will make all the negative stuff "go away"? NO! I don't! But, concede it may help some. IMO - It is a true shame what is going on in UNC athletics. Over the past 10-15 years with UNC athletes ranging from 600-800 in number on 26-28 teams, there is likely 2%-3% at most who have been involved in "paper classes, impermissible benefits, or "trouble with the law"! 97%-98% - NOT! Unfortunately the "few" are on the marquee teams of football & basketball!

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