Details keep emerging about the University of North Carolina’s potential academic fraud for student athletes. The University is looking at 54 classes with “little or no instruction,” taken by 241 current or former student athletes, 46 involving retired African and Afro-American Studies professor Julius Nyang’oro. The details don’t look good for North Carolina.
Nyang’oro was quite the workaholic. As a department chairman, he purportedly taught 75 classes over four years, in addition to supervising 60 independent studies (22 by football players). Twenty-six of the 38 classes he purportedly taught during summer semesters were restricted enrollment, potentially to keep spaces open for student-athletes. Some were listed just before the start of the semester. Here is the example of one course, listed one year after the NCAA was already investigating North Carolina.
Records released last month showed that one class – AFAM 280 – was launched two days before the start of a summer 2011 semester and immediately filled with 18 football players and a former player. Academic advisers to the football players knew the class did not meet and only involved a term paper, but still placed the athletes in the classes.
The Charlotte Observer suggests the suspicious classes could go back further than is currently being investigated, dating back to 1999.
For example, Nyang’oro was listed as the professor for AFRI 066, Contemporary Africa, in the first summer semester of 2001. The class was not on the calendar as of April 4, but was on it seven weeks later as the semester got underway. It shows maximum seating for one student, though five enrolled, and lists no class time or classroom.
Multiple professors have denied teaching classes that had them listed as instructor, with evidence indicating their paperwork was forged.
He said a former department manager may have helped set up that class and others. Other professors linked to the Swahili class and eight others have disowned them, and the investigation has found their signatures were forged on course paperwork.
Awaiting the GameDay feature on North Carolina’s defense communicating audibles in Swahili. Fortunately, this is merely alleged academic fraud. No one fudged a summer job, sold an item that belonged to him or her or had an overly extravagant bagel.