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UNC’s academic scandal involves basketball players?

May 8, 2012, 8:15 PM EDT


We’ve all heard about the academic scandal involving the UNC football team by now, but on Tuesday, news broke that seems to imply that basketball players were involved as well.

Last September, Julius Nyang’oro, who headed the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, resigned because of academic fraud in the classes that he taught.

It was that department that spawned classes in question.

The details:

There were 686 enrollments for the 54 suspect classes. Of those, football players accounted for 246 of the enrollments, or 36 percent, while basketball players accounted for 23 enrollments, or three percent, according to UNC. Together, football and basketball players accounted for 39 percent of the enrollments.

Football and basketball players account for less than one percent of the total undergraduate enrollment – about 120 of the more than 18,500 undergraduate students on campus.

The investigation has revealed pretty blatant cheating involving football players, but no basketball players have been named yet.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

  1. jack542 - May 8, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    UNC’s entire basketball team took classes from this department, including during their two most recent national championship seasons, 2005 and 2009.

    “There’s no reason I chose Swahili other than that I thought it would be cool. I enjoy it.” – Tyler Hansborough

    “My bad y’all Swahili, LOL” – John Henson

    There’s more … easy to find. played 13 minutes in UNC’s 2005 national championship game victory; check what he majored in.

    This does not necessarily mean these players took fraudulent classes; but what does your gut tell you about the odds that some of them took at least one of the 50 or so fraudulent classes?

    • matt171717 - May 9, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Jack – you know Rye Barcott (the subject of that first article who “had the honor” of taking Swahili with UNC basketball’s starting 5) actually graduated in 2001. So he was probably taking Swahili with Matt Doherty’s first team.

      Interesting that Barcott subsequently wound up founding the nonprofit Carolina for Kiberia of which the now disgraced professor was on the board.

  2. jswoff - May 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    What’s going on at Carolina

    They have always been the example of clean sports program – or at least they have always claimed as much.

    One would think Carolina would want an independant investigation to clear up all of the smoke.

    Did the system president really say that there is nothing else to investigate? Is he in on the cover up?

    Matt, was the professor the same one that Nike gave $500K to for his foundation about the same time that Butch Davis was hired? That sounds like some Federal issues if there was a quid pro qo – recieve money in order to have fake classes that will benefit the BASKETBALL team

    • matt171717 - May 9, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      According to the article linked below, the professor in question (Nyang’oro) was on the Board of Trustees of Carolina for Kibera. The CFK annual reports definately mentions donations from Nike, although how much and when I haven’t seen.

      By the way, CFK was quite fortunate to get a 501c3 designation. New, small organizations that are based in a foreign country often have a tough time getting tax exempt status because its so difficult to verify that tax exempt donations are being spent legitimately. That would especially be the case for a location like Kibera which is not officially recognized within Kenya because it is an unauthorized settlement according to Kenyan law. l

      “Carolina faculty and staff have also pitched in to get CFK off the ground. CFK Board of Trustees include James Peacock, professor of anthropology; Nicholas Didow, professor of business; and Professor Julius Nyang’oro, chair of African and Afro-American Studies curriculum. The staff side includes Caroline Okun, global immersion elective co-ordinator for international programs in the Kenan-Flagler Business School.”

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