North Carolina has been embroiled in an athletic academic scandal for a couple years, and this summer, it seems to be exploding. Over the weekend, the News & Observer published an academic transcript that UNC insisted was fake. But it turns out the transcript was real, and it belonged to former star Julius Peppers.
An NC State message board unearthed the screw up. Even though the school fixed the web screw up this morning, and you can’t find the transcripts online … we’ve got the screen grabs below for you to judge for yourself.
Peppers won’t care about any of this. In 2010, he signed a 6-year, $91.5 million contract with $42 million of that guaranteed. Why would he care that the school bricked and his sub 2.0 GPA is out there for the world to see? (It is a FERPA violation, though.)
The NCAA might find it interesting, though. How was Peppers eligible with such a bad GPA? Were grades changed? And perhaps more importantly, the classes he did well in were the AFAM classes … you know, the ones that have been heavily scrutinized.
Things to keep in mind: Here is UNC’s academic eligibility chart. Peppers was under that 2.0 mark, yet still on the football field. The classes that boosted his GPA? African and Afro-American studies. According to these screen grabs, an F went to a D, and an incomplete to a B.
For one, the N&O reported the test transcript because it shares several characteristics with a major academic fraud scandal at the university, one that university officials have been reluctant to determine just how far back it goes. The African-American Seminar class, known as AFAM 070 back then and as AFAM 398 today, appears four times as a no-show class in an internal review that found 54 such classes during the period of 2007 to 2011.
The classes were all in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. University officials have said the only two people they believe to be culpable in the no-show classes are the department’s former chairman, Julius Nyang’oro, and former department manager Deborah Crowder. Evidence has suggested, however, that athletes were steered to the classes by academic counselors assigned to the athletic department.
Yikes. One of our original questions was why UNC’s internal investigated stopped at 2007. Perhaps they knew the further back they went, the scandal would look even uglier.
Much more on UNC’s academic scandal to come this week.
Screen Grabs via Jacob Kiper.