by Billy Ball
Coaches, academic advisers, administrators in the university's African and Afro-American Studies Department and the university itself are all the culprits in a long-awaited report released Wednesday into UNC-Chapel Hill's ongoing academic scandal.
The 136-page report from former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein delves deeper than any previous probe into the scandal, which unfolded after the NCAA began looking into benefits received by former football players in 2010 and expanded to include many other sports at the university.
The report primarily points the finger at former department director Julius Nyang’oro and a manager, Deborah Crowder, for offering hundreds of irregular classes between 1993 and 2011. Some of these courses eschewed regular lectures and classes in exchange for a single paper at the term's conclusion, graded by Crowder.
According to the Wainstein report, 3,100 students were enrolled in the "paper classes" during that 18-year time frame. Of those students, nearly 48 percent were student-athletes, directed by counselors in the university's Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes seeking easy courses in order to help athletes remain eligible.
The report blamed the university for failing to offer proper oversight of the system.
“Mr. Wainstein has found that the wrongdoing at Carolina lasted much longer and affected more students than previously known," said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt in a statement Wednesday. "The bad actions of a few and the inaction of others failed the University’s students, faculty and alumni, and undermined the institution as a whole. This conduct could and should have been stopped much earlier by individuals in positions of influence and oversight, and others could have sounded the alarm more forcefully.”
The university says it will publicly release all documents cited in Wainstein's report. No word on whether the report will prompt further action from the NCAA.