Education

UNC chancellor urges patience with academic review

Posted June 10

— Carol Folt, chancellor of the University of North Carolina, sent an email to students, faculty and staff Tuesday urging patience in the face of the latest independent review of academic practices after years of allegations that Tar Heel student-athletes get special treatment.

"I want to assure you that we are doing our best to resolve remaining questions," she wrote. "I also want to take this opportunity to reconfirm that we are going to respond to these questions at the right time, and to provide some perspective as to how Carolina is moving forward."

The latest twist in the drama came Friday when former men's basketball player Rashad McCants, a member of the 2005 national championship team, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he rarely went to class, that tutors wrote papers for him and other athletes and that coaches knew about the arrangement.

Sixteen of McCants' teammates responded with a signed statement disputing McCants' claims.

"With conviction, each one of us is proud to say that we attended class and did our own academic work," they wrote.

Eleven of them were present Saturday when head men's basketball coach Roy Williams responded to McCants in his own ESPN interview

"I strongly disagree with what Rashad (McCants) has said," Williams said.

Folt acknowledged Tuesday that those interviews have turned the national spotlight back on UNC, and she reiterated the actions the university is taking to figure out exactly what happened in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies under the leadership of Dr. Julius Nyang’oro.

The former department head faces head up to 30 months in prison if he is convicted of obtaining property by false pretense, which is a felony. Investigators said he accepted $12,000 for teaching a class that never happened.

Nyang'oro resigned as allegations focused on no-show classes, altered grades and other improprieties came to light during an internal investigation led by former Gov. Jim Martin. That probe found irregularities were contained to Nyang'oro's department and pointed the finger at him and staffer Deborah Crowder. Martin found no anomalies outside of that department and no specific link between the scandal and student athletes.

Those findings, however, did little to quiet the questions about Tar Heel athletes and their academic preparation, and Folt, hired in April 2014, retained former U.S. Justice Department attorney Kenneth Wainstein to review information uncovered during the State Bureau of Investigation probe of the department, which led to Nyang'oro's indictment.

"Once we know the extent of Mr. Wainstein’s findings, which he will release to the public, we will take appropriate action, building on the significant reforms we have already implemented. At that time we will also be better equipped to respond to individual claims. Until then, we appreciate your patience and understanding," Folt wrote on Tuesday.

Bubba Cunningham, UNC's athletic director and Williams' boss, chimed in on Tuesday with his own statement. 

"Current and former players from across the country have told me that Coach Williams and his staff have always placed a priority on self-accountability inside the classroom," he wrote. "Everyone here at Carolina wants to know all we can about past academic and athletic anomalies. But speculation and innuendo should not replace the independent investigation currently being conducted."

39 Comments

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  • Alex25 Jun 12, 9:00 a.m.

    Over her head.

  • KT doesn't accept EBT cards Jun 11, 3:38 p.m.

    "Once we know the extent of Mr. Wainstein’s findings, which he will release to the public, we... View More

    — Posted by Gonzo

    You are a barrel of laughs Gonzo. Your comment is baseless, inaccurate, and crude. Guess you ... View More

    — Posted by Tar Heels Blue

    And you sure circled like a fly.

  • redwolfone Jun 11, 2:55 p.m.

    The house of cards is coming down! You will be revealed for what you are....CHEATERS!

  • Alex25 Jun 11, 1:52 p.m.

    Worst cheating by a college sports program in NCAA history. So many arms and angles.

    Transcripts are only one part of the evil doings.

  • Tar Heels Blue Jun 11, 12:58 p.m.

    "Once we know the extent of Mr. Wainstein’s findings, which he will release to the public, we... View More

    — Posted by Gonzo

    You are a barrel of laughs Gonzo. Your comment is baseless, inaccurate, and crude. Guess you were raising a stink to see how many flies circled around your trash. Why not make comments that you can back up with evidence, or better yet, write, call, or visit Chancellor Folt and tell her you revelation. Your comment echoes your persona.

  • heelsforever Jun 11, 12:55 p.m.

    Patience?

    Our patience is wearing thin from having YET to see an INDEPENDENT investigation. All... View More

    — Posted by LuvsThePack

    You and Alex start the fund to pay for the independent investigation. Geez, you Fack "grads" tell us over and over thow much more money you make than UNC grads and how you are their bosses, so GET UP OFF some of that cash and pay for the investigation you want so badly or SHUT UP. If you WANT it then MAKE it happen just the way you do at that high paying job.

  • Alex25 Jun 11, 12:27 p.m.

    3PM today again on ESPN

  • Proudly Unaffiliated Jun 11, 9:25 a.m.

    Memo to the General Assembly: Cut off UNC's money. This is a corrupt cesspool, so stop funding it.

  • Gonzo Jun 11, 8:16 a.m.

    "Once we know the extent of Mr. Wainstein’s findings, which he will release to the public, we will take appropriate action, building on the significant reforms we have already implemented. At that time we will also be better equipped to respond to individual claims. Until then, we appreciate your patience and understanding," Folt wrote on Tuesday.

    Translation: We have two girls shredding documents, but we keep finding more for them to do. We are thinking of hiring a third.

  • one Jun 10, 5:44 p.m.

    I haven't seen anything to indicate which semester McCants says he didn't go to class. If he... View More

    — Posted by justabumer

    Except that his transcript is littered with AFAM classes that have been exposed as fraudulent by .........UNC

    Take out the fraudulent classes since his 1st semester on campus, and then evaluate his eligibility.

    & the same goes for his teammates that stood by Roy. They are very proud of their Carolina experience. So proud they would be willing to share their transcripts?

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