North Carolina

TV specials replay UNC-CH academic fraud problems

Posted March 26, 2014

— ESPN and HBO aired dueling specials Tuesday night focusing on the academic fraud scandal involving University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student-athletes.

The specials featured former UNC football players Bryon Bishop, Michael McAdoo and Deunta Williams and adviser and academic whistle-blower Mary Willingham and drew national attention to the headlines that have played across North Carolina media for years: Courses in which no classes were held, students turning in one-paragraph essays and advisers guiding students to majors that ensured their continued athletic eligibility.

A 2012 investigation led by former Gov. Jim Martin found those problems in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies dating to 1997 and placed blame on former department chairman Julius Nyang'oro and a retired administrator. Nyang'oro was indicted in December on a fraud charge for collecting payments for classes that never met.

UNC officials noted in a statement released after the specials aired that little new information was revealed and noted that the university has used the episode as a chance to improve.

"We have instituted numerous reforms, including new governance and accountability standards in our Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes," Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs Joel Curran said in the statement.

UNC President Tom Ross and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt recently hired a former U.S. Justice Department attorney to comb through the case file the State Bureau of Investigation compiled during a probe that led to Nyang'oro's indictment to determine if other changes are needed.

University trustees declined to comment Wednesday on the ESPN and HBO specials. The Board of Trustees meets Thursday, and they will hear from Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham.


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  • Alex25 Mar 26, 2014

    UNC has been cheating athletically for decades ... and appears to have changed nothing.

  • KT dislikes welchers Mar 26, 2014

    Is it Friday yet?

  • ncguy Mar 26, 2014

    All because of Marvin Austin


  • Wise Man Says Mar 26, 2014

    Lots o money to be made in collegiate sports. Remove the money, remove the corruption.

  • Toddler10-21 Mar 26, 2014

    Time to move on.

  • Kenan-FlaglerAlumni Mar 26, 2014

    Big changes are coming for college athletes. It's a shame that it took the situation at UNC to bring the NCAA problems to light but better late than never.

  • Love FB Mar 26, 2014

    Time to clean house in the athletic dept top to bottom while it is fresh in everyones mind. No more rug sweeping just get it all out and all done, then move on.

  • Hal Price Mar 26, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You're living in la la land if you think this is just a UNC problem. Colleges across the country do the same things. Do you pay attention to collegiate sports? Look at the makeup of the athletes in major football and basketball. The problem is a lowered academic standard is acceptable for a select few. How many times have you heard of these problems with the swim, lacrosse, or golf teams? Hum?

  • TTCP Mar 26, 2014

    View quoted thread

    What is maaaHvin doing these days ?

  • Alex25 Mar 26, 2014

    To the systemic, ingrained, managed depth this cheating occurred -- for decades -- UNC is in a by world itself. Leaders in cheating.

    Banners will come down.




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