North Carolina is facing another student-athlete academic fraud scandal. An “internal probe” is investigating 54 classes in the school’s Department of African and Afro-American Studies Department. Forty-five of them were taught by department chair Julius Nyang’oro. There is “evidence of grade changes and little or no instruction by professors.” Thirty-nine percent of enrollees were football and basketball players (.006 percent of the student population).
“These kids are putting in enormous amounts of time, and in at least some of the sports that are very physically demanding, they are missing a number of classes because of conflicts, and then if they are a marginal student to begin with, you’ve got to send them to Professor Nyang’oro’s class,” said former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr. “I think the academic counselors realized that and the tutors recognized it and frankly the folks up the food chain for the most part recognized it. But nobody wants to rock the boat because it’s big money.”
The investigation stems from Marvin Austin’s academic transcript. The News and Observer found that Austin was enrolled in a 400-level African Studies class, taught by Nyang’oro, during his first semester on campus in 2007 without having taken the prerequisite introductory writing class. He received a B+. Another player in a Nyang’oro class had a paper showing evidence of plagiarism.
North Carolina’s football program is already on probation. Though, expect nothing serious to result from this. It’s not as though players did something seriously heinous, like selling an item that belonged to them or getting paid a bit extra for a summer job.
[Photo via Getty]