You know all those times I poke at Dan Kane for not coming right out and making an accusation? Yeah, not this time.
A summer class at UNC-Chapel Hill that lacked any instruction was enrolled exclusively with football players – and it landed on the school calendar just days before the semester started, university records show.
The records show that in the summer of 2011, 19 students enrolled in AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina, 18 of them players on the football team, the other a former player. They also show that academic advisers assigned to athletes helped the players enroll in the class, which is the subject of a criminal investigation.
The advisers also knew that there would be no instruction.
Other records show that football and basketball players made up a majority of the enrollments of nine particularly suspect classes in which the professors listed as instructors have denied involvement, and have claimed that signatures were forged on records related to them. I im
The new information is more evidence that student athletes, particularly football players, were being steered to classes that university officials now say are evidence of academic fraud because there was little or no instruction. An internal review found 54 such classes, and said all but nine of them were taught by Julius Nyang’oro, the longtime chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies Department. In each case, students were given an assignment such as a term paper and told to turn it in at the end of the semester.
Here is a copy of Holden Thorp’s letter to the Board of Trustees on which much of this report is based.
Up until now the defense for the athletic department has been that regular students along with student-athletes were in these suspect classes so while it was shady and reeked of academic fraud, it was not an NCAA issue. The introduction of evidence that the African-American Studies department head arranged for a class right before a summer session which was promptly filled by 18 football players and a former one could pique the NCAA’s attention again.
At this point, the newest information raises a lot of questions not to the least of which is how deep does this rabbit hole really go? That no one knows but the way it has gone so far I suspect the answer to that is, “really, really deep.” The other question is how sticky does this get for the athletic department? The answer to that lies in whether anyone can prove academic support knew and worked in concert with whatever shady business was going on in the AFAM department with the suspect classes. The fact Nyang’oro can setup a class and academic advisers, knowing the class wasn’t what it should have been, steered players into it has all sorts of implications attached to it.
Of course the discussion no one is really having is who in the administration or on the academic side is going to pay the price for this unpleasant business? More than that is it possible this costs Holden Thorp his job? Also, at what point does the Board of Governors, which has been a silent observer, get involved? My guess is the answers to those last two questions are related.