UNC Investigation Reveals 18 Years Of Academic Fraud

Photo Credit: Flickr

Photo Credit: Flickr

After a thorough independent investigation, a report has been released by former Department of Justice official Kenneth Wainstein revealing the fraud that has taken place at the University of North Carolina by scheming to keep athletes academically eligible. The fraud is specified to the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. The report essentially says how over an 18-year period from 1993-2011, 3,100 students of which 47 percent being athletes, were advised to take certain classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies because they were known as “GPA boosters” according to Wainstein that kept athletes academically eligible.

Furthermore, the reports indicate that there was collusion between academic advisors of athletes and Debby Crowder, the longtime manager in the Department of African and Afro-American studies. Athletes were told of these easy classes by their advisors who were very aware of the situation.

According to the report, Crowder “provided the students with no actual instruction, but she managed the whole course from beginning to end. She registered the selected students for the classes; she assigned them their paper topics; she received their completed papers at the end of the semester; she graded the papers; and she recorded the students’ final class grades on the grade rolls. When Crowder graded the papers, she did so generously – typically with As or high Bs – and largely without regard to the quality of the papers.”

In fact, the report also says, “This steering was most prevalent among the counselors for the revenue sports of football and men’s basketball. While some of these counselors knew only that these were easy classes, others were fully aware that there was no faculty involvement and that Crowder was managing the whole course and grading the papers. Those counselors saw these paper classes as “GPA boosters” and steered players into them largely in order to help them maintain their GPAs and their eligibility under the NCAA and Chapel Hill eligibility rules. At least two of those counselors went so far as to suggest what grades Crowder should award to their players who were taking her paper classes.”

It is very interesting that Crowder would grade the papers even though she is not a professor. As a recent graduate, I can definitely relate as there were certain classes that I knew about as being easy where the majority of students get A’s and B’s but I’ve never seen anything to this extent. What do you think the consequences should be for UNC?


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