UNC's Fake Classes Helped Athletes Keep Their GPAs Up

Kenneth Wainstein's report revealed a list of classes that didn't meet and required almost no work, helping struggling student athletes remain eligibl

UNC's Fake Classes Helped Athletes Keep Their GPAs Up

Almost everyone has taken, or knows someone who has taken, easier classes to raise their GPA. But, in the case of the University of North Carolina, some GPA-raising classes allegedly didn't even exist and were attended mainly by student-athletes. 

They're being called "sham classes" and part of the "shadow curriculum" that reportedly occurred at the university for nearly 20 years.  

MARY WILLINGHAM VIA ESPN"Athletes couldn't write a paper, couldn't write a paragraph. They couldn't write a sentence. Some of these students could read at maybe a second or a third grade level. ...  This athlete was awarded an A-." 

Attorney and former Department of Justice official Kenneth Wainstein released his report Wednesday detailing just how far the GPA boosting activity went. 

The report claims student-athletes took classes in the African and Afro-American Studies department, most of which included simply writing a paper at the end of the year which normally scored A's or high B's. Class attendance, according to the report, normally was not necessary. (Video via WNCT)

KENNETH WAINSTEIN VIA WRAL"These are actually in the course registry as classes that met at a certain place, at a certain time, in a certain room, but they actually never met. They were conducted as a paper class." 

Two individuals were reportedly the main overseers of the scheme: department administrator Deborah Crowder and department chairman Julius Nyang’oro. Criminal charges against Nyang'oro were dropped in July. (Video via WTVD

The scheme of classes reportedly started in 1993 and lasted until 2011 when speculation was first raised about the program. 

That span would have included two men's basketball national championships for the Tarheels — in 2005 and 2009. But, as The Washington Post points out, the report shows head coach Roy Williams in a somewhat positive light. 

The report "paints Williams as concerned toward his academic assistants that, after his arrival in 2003, too many of his players seemed to major in African and Afro-American Studies, a signal that counselors might be steering them toward that department."

The university's chancellor said nine university employees have been disciplined or terminated as a result of the report.

This video contains images via Getty Images and trevortinker / CC BY-NC 2.0