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UNC Responds to NCAA Allegations

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Cassidy Yelincic, News Editor

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In October of 2014, UNC was accused of academic fraud that aided student athletes within the classroom. For 18 years, athletes at the institution had been taking fake “paper classes” which boosted the student athletes’ gpa and kept them above the required grade point average to play.

Athletes within the NCAA are required to have a 1.8 gpa as freshmen, 1.9 as sophomores, and a 2.0 gpa as upperclassmen. Student athletes are also required to pass 6 credit hours worth of classes while remaining a full-time student; which means they must be taking at least 12 credit hours at the institution.

These accused classes were all within the same department, a very small one at that. Student athletes accounted for roughly half of the roster of each class within the department, while 71% of students who took five or more of the lecture classes were athletes. Many of the classes that are under investigation at University of North Carolina were taught by Deborah Crowder, former department manager of the African and Afro-American department.

In the affidavit sent through Crowder’s lawyer, Crowder stated “I believe that our university owes a duty to educate and assist students… I believed we had a duty to protect the students and their futures — not by giving away grades, but by providing customized educational opportunities for students to solve problems created by the institutional bureaucracy.”

Yesterday, May 25th, UNC released a public version of it’s recent response to the NCAA, stating that the classes were found to be fraudulent but they are not subject to NCAA bylaws. The University is arguing that the classes were not intended to help the athletes and were open to the entire student population; “No special arrangements were made for student-athletes in violation of NCAA extra-benefit legislation … student-athletes were not treated differently than other students who took the Courses. All students who took the Courses were required to write one or more research papers.” University of North Carolina also sticks to the stance that no one within the athletic department took “improper advantage” of the fraudulent classes.

“I believe that each college has easier classes that are suggested for athletes to take in order for them to handle their workload,” explains future UNC attendee, Emily Schoeffler. “But at the same time, not all athletes take these courses. Obviously, it’s kind of annoying to know some students are working very hard while others can slack off and still get by. However, this happens at most colleges.”

The enforcement staff with NCAA is required to file a response to UNC’s argument by July 17. Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has also stated that the NCAA Infractions Panel is expected to hear the case mid-August with anticipated dates of August 16 and August 17.  

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
UNC Responds to NCAA Allegations