scandal has broken out at the University of North Carolina, and it may possibly
be the worst ever in NCAA history. If the NCAA digs deep enough, it could be
enough to ruin the football program and possibly even the basketball program for a long, long time.
There had been whispers that there was
something fishy going on at the UNC campus and their student athletes last
year, but nothing ever came of it - till now. A NC State recently student displayed Julius Peppers' transcript on the Tar Heels website, laying bare what just may be one of the biggest scandals ever in student-athlete academics.
The transcript stated that Peppers majored in “African American Studies." It also revealed that Peppers had a GPA of 1.95 in his final year at UNC when one needed a 2.0 to be eligible to play a D1 sport.
Peppers went into the NFL Draft the next year, so it's not known what would have
happened if he'd stayed to play. The problem isn't so much that Peppers was under
the 2.0 GPA limit, but that the “African American
Studies” courses he took and majored in never actually existed at UNC!
The courses were never on the school's curriculum. They were just made up, out of thin air, so that athletes could remain eligible and stay on the playing field. It's more than ironic that Peppers didn't even pass a fake course specifically designed
for him and his fellow student-athletes.
One Julius Nyang'oro ran the non-existent “Department of
African American Studies" program at UNC. He was the figure behind this fraud; he had every
one fooled such that he actually had academic advisers steering student
athletes towards this area of study. No one yet knows how many
students where given a free pass, but we can tell you how many of these fake
courses existed: Fifty four! That should give you some idea of how
many students were enrolled in these classes.
UNC can't say this was a rogue operation by one man because there's ample evidence of academic advisers suggesting student athletes enroll in these courses. Furthermore, are
we really to believe the head coaches at UNC - who desperately wanted star
athletes to stay eligible - didn't know where to send these so called student athletes?
UNC began what by all accounts was a rather half-hearted investigation earlier this year the results of which indicate that
the scandal started in 2007. But the transcript in question, Julius' Peppers' transcript, is from 2001. Who knows how long this has been going on at the university?
UNC's mens basketball team
went to 3 Final Fours and won national titles in 05 and 09'. According to Charlotte newspaper "The News and Observer,” over 67% percent of the students enrolled in the fake courses were athletes; UNC's records also show that, in the case of one of the classes, the sole enrollee was a
basketball player. So, some of those star players could have certainly been
ineligible to play on those national title teams and those banners may need to
come down. Roy Williams will need to be fired if he knew about this. As for the
football program, it was already on probation for academic issues. We might just be talking death penalty here.
It remains to be seen, of course, but the
NCAA has some serious investigation ahead of it, and there is going to be a lot of
embarassment coming to the once proud University of North Carolina.