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Latest on UNC hoops’ connection to the academic scandal

Jul 26, 2012, 5:42 PM EDT

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Kansas v North Carolina Getty Images

Jason McIntyre over at The Big Lead took his turn doing a little bit of investigative work into the growing academic scandal at North Carolina.

And while he — like the Raleigh News & Observer, who has been all over this story — has yet to find direct evidence that unquestionably links the basketball team to the academic fraud, the amount of smoke growing around Roy Williams’ program makes it more and more difficult to believe that there isn’t fire in there somewhere.

TBL’s findings focuses on two people: Wayne Welden and Deb Crowder.

Welden was in charge of tracking the academic progress of Williams’ program at Kansas and followed him to North Carolina in 2003. Interestingly enough, Welden was listed as the responsible person for the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams for the Spring 2010 through Fall 2011 semesters.

Crowder was an administrator in the African and Afro-American Studies department, where the majority of the academic fraud is alleged to have taken place. She had “unusual access” to the team and also left her position in the summer of 2009, a full year before the story about the scandal broke. From TBL:

So in 2009, a year before the scandal went public, the academic adviser to the basketball team – a team which had a history of players who majored in African and Afro-American Studies – left UNC, as did a longtime administrator in that department. Since the departures of Walden and Crowder, records obtained by the News & Observer (click here for the UNC academic info PDF) show a dramatic drop in athletes majoring in African and Afro-American Studies. We specifically looked at the basketball team’s numbers in that major from when Roy Williams took over in 2003-2004, and here are the numbers we found (African & Afro-American majors/players who had chosen a major):

2003-04 AA 5/13
2004-05 AA 7/13 <—- Won NCAA title.
2005-06 AA 3/11
2006-07 AA 3/15
2007-08 AA 2/12
2008-09 AA 1/16  <— Walden and Crowder left after this school year.
2009-10 AA 0/10
2010-11 AA 0/8
2011-12 AA 0/9

Again, this is nothing definitive.

It’s possible that this is all a coincidence.

But I get the feeling that there is more to this story that will eventually come out.

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

  1. imforbigblue - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Lol this freaking kills me if this was coach Cal and UK there would be every paper and espn and SI and yahoo and all the haters all over this calling for blood, but since it’s in the ACC and it’s UNC it’s no big deal SMH

    • duvisited - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Good point. I’m sure the media would have no interest at all in an athletic scandal at Duke University.

  2. coach1959 - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    We have no knowledge of the facts and therefore do not know if there are any guilty parties. The problem, as I see it, is that because the University in question is UNC, there is an absence of investigating journalists looking into the issue. If UK was the University in questions, there would be journalists from all over the country looking under every rock they could find — just to prove “guiltly”.

  3. seedtwopointoh - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    I know the idea of a firestorm is always appealing for entertainment value, but I wish legitimate news publications wouldn’t just publish everything posted on the Internet.

    The last basketball player to major in AFAM was Mike Copeland, the only player recruited in 2005 or later to hold that major. Copeland declared his major before the 2006-07 season, meaning no basketball player declared an AFAM major for the final 3 years that Wayne Walden worked with the team.

    You are insinuating that an employee left his position two years before the scandal broke, and three years after any suspect activity took place. There’s not even a coincidence, let alone a deeper story.

    • seedtwopointoh - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM

      I meant to say that you are “insinuating that Walden left his position amid fears of consequences for fraudulent conduct,” but the timeline of facts simply does match this proposition.

  4. Andrew - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    Very poor journalism

  5. jacobkiper - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    The point is indeed that UNC stopped having basketball players major in AFAM in 2009. The question is WHY? After at least a decade… basketball player stopped. WHY? There was a lot of movement with academic personnel in 2009.

    Also, while basketball players stopped majoring in AFAM in 2009, they did NOT stop taking classes. Multiple UNC basketball players from 2009-present took the fraudulent classes. Reggie Bullock, John Henson, and Tyler Hansbrough all took fraudulent AFAM classes and did not major.

    • seedtwopointoh - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Basketball players stopped majoring in AFAM in 2009 because Mike Copeland graduated in 2009. There is no other reason that the number drops to zero after 2009. Players stopped declaring the majoring in 2006.

      During the 2006-07 season, three players majored in AFAM: Mike Copeland, Quentin Thomas, and Reyshawn Terry. Terry graduated in ’07, which why the number drops from 3 to 2 from ’07 to ’08. Thomas graduated in ’08, which is why the number drops from 2 to 1 from ’08 to ’09. Copeland graduated in ’09, which is why the number drops from 1 to 0 from ’09 to ’10. That is “WHY” the enrollment stopped: because the players with the interest in AFAM, and the players who enrolled in AFAM together in order to take the same classes (like a lot of friends do), left school.

      A lot of people took the fraudulent AFAM classes: both athletes and non-athletes. Some of the suspect AFAM classes had zero athletes–and I am still trying to understand how people believe that those classes were “set up for the benefits of athletes.” If you want precedent for this type of situation, read up on Michigan’s academic scandal from a few years ago in their Psychology department–that was even more widespread, and you probably have never heard of it.

      • rollinsox007 - Jul 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        You can’t even call these classes. There was zero instruction and no syllabi. Just because non-athletes took them too doesn’t make it all okay. Players throughout their athletic department took fake classes in a fake major to stay eligible.

  6. lastsuhn - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I love how skewed UK fans views are. Every college basketball article has everything to do with them and how badly their university is treated. Get over it, you just won a title. Did Cal do some shady things before he got to UK…Yes he did. I’m not saying he’s doing those things now, but if you think the NCAA wouldn’t keep a close eye on him after some of the things done on his watch you’re kidding yourself. Frankly, I’m sick of all this, “if this was UK then the NCAA, Yahoo sports, SI would be blah blah blah”. Kentucky, no one is looking at you right now. You have to be the most disgruntled fans of a championship team I’ve ever seen. Please, let it go…at least until there is an actual investigation into UK.

  7. marksim2 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Cheating – it’s the Carolina way! I think it’s pretty obvious now that UNC basketball players were also enrolled in these bogus classes…the you-know-what’s about to hit the fan in Chapel Hole.

    • faustus1500 - Jul 30, 2012 at 1:03 AM

      You do make some interesting points. I wonder what would happen if the NCAA scrutinized Duke’s sociology program…..

  8. ncaawhowhatwhenwherey - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    By the numbers that UNCheat released/ self reported, there were roughly 5-7 scholarship bball players in EACH these NON EXISTENT classes..basically more than 50% of the bball team were involved. Unc is the ultimate spin machine, both tittles should be vacated, yet they would never allow the ncaa to remove them…just add an “asterisk ” beside and roll the ball out on the court, lets play ball! Don’t worry UK fans, it’s not just because they’re in the acc, ANY OTHER TEAM WOULD FACE THE DEATH PENALTY for all of what these guys are doing in rogue hill ..well Duke would skate as well..As a citizen and taxpayer of NC, they are absolutely an embarrassment to me andn my state. PERIOD. They deserve to be treated just like every other member in the ncaa, yet the ncaa is AFRAID/SCARED to touch these clowns…hopefully the national media will have the brass to make the ncaa step up and DO THEIR JOB…..?? ****(THE NEW CAROLINA WAY SYMBOL)*********************blatent liers and spin doctors

  9. ncaawhowhatwhenwherey - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    They have payed the “professor “, buth davis, jennifer Wiley, deborah crowder, dick baddour(former ad), and who else knows how many others have been paid to shhhhhh…total sham! They will not allow an INDEPENDENT investigation, unless ofcourse they get to pick the panelists …..gonna be funny when huckleberry has to vacate his 2wife titles and Calipari is 1up on him. Living in the area UNCheat has touted they were the Harvard of the south, while playing ineligible players all along…bwahahahahahaha

  10. imforbigblue - Jul 28, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    I love how this UNC fan says coach cal was doing shady things before he came to UK. Can you tell me what shady things cal was caught doing by the NCAA before he cane to UK? Because it wasn’t him who gave Camby money at umass it was a agent and cal turned him in and it was Camby fault umass gave up its FF not cal. Then at memphis it wasn’t Cals fault the NCAA cleared rose to play basketball and at the end of the season they said no he wasn’t. If your going to say well rose cheated on his SAT’s again rose was in high school it wasn’t Cals fault he can’t hold every players hand. So really it was roses fault memphis gave up there FF not Cals. It’s just easy to jump on the bandwagon and blame coach cal instead of knowing the truth huh. Like the poster above me said dont worry the NCAA won’t do anything to unc your just like dUKe they won’t touch you but you’ll still always behind UK in everything!

    • faustus1500 - Jul 30, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      “has yet to find direct evidence that unquestionably links the basketball team to the academic fraud or paying payers, the amount of smoke growing around John Calipari’s program makes it more and more difficult to believe that there isn’t fire in there somewhere.”

      I just did some editing to an excerpt from the article.

      They only thing Kentucky has an advantage over UNC is basketball, but that is marginally. Most of Kentucky’s titles came from a time when their players wore white hoods after practice.

  11. seanb20124 - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    What’s the job market like for those graduating with politically correct phony degrees?

  12. imforbigblue - Jul 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Lol really you think UK basketball is just alittle better than UNC? Give me a break when you can pass Kansas for 2nd in wins talk crap. Hell your behind UK in everything when it comes to basketball even the sissy blue you team wears. You sure haven’t been beating us lately and last time I checked we’re the Champions and you flamed out. It’s ok to be a hater lol

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