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A 2014 report detailing the extent of the scandal involving fake classes at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill includes a slide from a presentation made to the school’s football coaches defending and encouraging the “paper classes” – in which all students had to do to pass was write one paper.
The NCAA announced on Friday that it “could not conclude” that UNC violated academic rules after a years-long investigation into the academic scandal, saying the university will not be sanctioned.
In the report, the NCAA also made note of a slide shown to the football coaches.
In 2009, Deborah Crowder, the administrator of UNC’s African and Afro-American Studies department – which hosted the “paper classes” – was retiring.
The football team’s academic counseling staff had long relied on the classes to support struggling athletes who would not have been eligible to play without their lax attendance and grading policies.
According to the 2014 report, the football counseling staff was “painfully aware that Crowder’s retirement would require the whole football program to adjust to a new reality of having to meet academic requirements with real academic work.”
Following Crowder’s retirement, the report said, the staff held a meeting with the team’s coaches where they “explained (1) that the AFAM paper classes had played a large role in keeping under-prepared and/or unmotivated football players eligible to play and (2) that these classes no longer existed.”
Here’s the slide they used to make their point, highlighting that athletes don’t even need to pay attention in these classes in order to pass:
- Via UNC
According to the report, there was a significant and tangible benefit to these fake classes.
“The average AFAM paper class GPAs for these players was 3.61 – far higher than their average GPA of 1.917 for their other classes,” it said.
The football counseling staff later asked the AFAM department head to reinstate the fake “paper classes” in order to keep their athletes eligible.