The NCAA’s investigation into improper benefits for UNC football players, which started two years ago and resulted in the firing of Davis, was largely over when information about the academic fraud came to light.
UNC offered a summer class, AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina, in 2011. 19 students enrolled in the class with 18 of them being football players and the other being a former player. The class reportedly consisted of little to no instruction and the only requirements were an end of term paper.
Academic advisers were said to have steered athletes towards this class knowing that there would be no instruction which makes the situation subject to criminal investigation. An investigation revealed 54 classes just like AFAM 280 where there was no instruction or participation. 45 of these classes were taught by the chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies Department Julius Nyang’oro.
It is still unclear what ramifications the issues of academic fraud will have but it appears that most of the blame will be placed on Nyang’oro. In a letter sent to the trustees of the university Chancellor Holden Thorp released several statements regarding the issue.
“Anytime you have a class consisting solely of student-athletes, it raises questions,” Thorp said. “Students in the class wrote papers and were graded. Nevertheless, Nyang’oro did not meet the University’s instructional expectations.”
The university did contact the NCAA after the initial evidence was found about the possible academic fraud. However, the NCAA has not made any statements or shown intentions for further investigations regarding the case.
“I just think this has uncovered some information that quite frankly, the university, we’re not proud of,” said newly hired athletic director Bubba Cunningham. “But we’ll continue to work to ensure that it doesn’t happen going forward.”