A new report released Wednesday details how the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill offered “paper classes” — courses that never met and only required one final paper — to help boost athletes’ grades and keep them eligible.
In an ESPN report in March, ex-UNC football player Deunta Williams and whistleblower Mary Willingham detailed how these paper classes worked.
The classes — which were listed as “independent studies” in the course book — had no attendance, and students got credit for writing papers that always got either A’s or B’s.
Willingham, who called the paper classes “scam classes,” showed ESPN an example of one of these papers. It’s a one-paragraph, 148-word “final paper” on Rosa Parks.
The student recieved an A- overall in the course, Willingham says.
Here’s the text (h/t @BrianAGraham):
On the evening of December Rosa Parks decided that she was going to sit in the white people section on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. During this time blacks had to give up there seats to whites when more whites got on the bus. Rosa parks refused to give up her seat. Her and the bus driver began to talk and the conversation went like this. “Let me have those front seats” said the driver. She didn’t get up and told the driver that she was tired of giving her seat to white people. “I’m going to have you arrested,” said the driver. “You may do that,” Rosa Parks responded. Two white policemen came in and Rosa Parks asked them “why do you all push us around?” The police officer replied and said “I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.”
While a previous investigation cleared the UNC athletics department from wrongdoing in the scandal, Wednesday’s report “found a new culprit: the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes … The report describes a fairly broad group of academic and athletic officials who knew about athletes getting better grades in classes that only required papers, yet taking little or no action,” according to The News & Observer.
Student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel noted that the new report “found clear evidence that academic counselors from the football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams asked for players to be enrolled in bogus independent study classes in order for them to be eligible.”
The more recent investigation was led by Kenneth Wainstein, a former U.S. Justice Department official. Wainstein reportedly had an unprecedented level of access to material related to the UNC scandal, as well as the cooperation of former African studies chairman Julius Nyang’oro and department administrator Deborah Crowder.
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