UNC Report: No-show classes go back to 1997
by By Rachel George, USA TODAY Sports
No-show classes and “anomalous courses” in the Department of Afro- and African-American studies at North Carolina extended back as far as the fall of 1997, according to a report released on Thursday from a former North Carolina governor.
Jim Martin and Baker Tilly, who were commissioned in August to review the courses, found 216 with “proven or potential anomalies.” The group also looked into unauthorized grade changes and found 454 suspected cases.
Still, it deemed its findings as “not an athletic scandal.” Martin released the findings to the university’s trustees on Thursday morning
“This was not an athletic scandal,” Martin wrote in his report “Sadly, it was clearly an academic scandal; but an isolated one, within this one department.”
The school’s internal review released in May found 54 aberrant classes in the Department of Afro- and African-American Studies that were largely populated by football and men’s basketball players and received little to no instruction. Whether those classes were offered prior to 2007 became the focus of Martin’s review, but reporting by The News & Observer in Raleigh suggested it could have spanned as far back as the 1990s.
The transcript for Julius Peppers, a two-sport star at UNC and now an NFL defensive end, was leaked on the school’s website in August. His grades suggested that AFAM courses helped him remain eligible throughout his career at UNC.
Martin reviewed data going back 18 years and conducted 84 interviews with faculty, staff, students and “other stakeholders” in compiling the report.
As the school’s own review had, Martin’s report placed blame for the aberrant classes and grade changes on two people – Julius Nyang’oro, the former chairman of the department, and Deborah Crowder, an administrator in the department.
“Our evidence shows that no other AFRI/AFAM instructor was responsible for this wrongdoing,”‘ he wrote. “No evidence from our review points to anyone else’s involvement beyond Ms. Crowder and Dr. Nyang’oro.”
The findings extend a scandal that has enveloped one of the country’s oldest universities for more than two years. What began as an NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits, improper relationships with agents and academic fraud expanded to include questions about widespread … [For more on UNC Report: No-show classes go back to 1997, click here.]