For the last few years, the NCAA has been investigating whether the University of North Carolina steered student-athletes toward sham classes.
And, after years of devoting valuable resources to the investigation, the NCAA on Friday announced that it could not conclude that UNC violated rules, though it said athletes “likely benefited from so-called ‘paper courses.’ ” While that ruling surely comes as a relief to many in Chapel Hill, N.C., it’s left others in the sports world totally dumbfounded.
Here’s an excerpt from the NCAA’s statement:
There are many details to this investigation, but at its core are courses within the school’s Department of African and Afro-American Studies. More than 3,100 students, roughly half of which were athletes, enrolled in the classes from 1993 to 2011, according to ESPN. The NCAA only investigated 2002-11, however.
So what was so bad about the classes? Well, they reportedly didn’t require attendance, and students only needed to submit one paper at the end of the semester. Furthermore, grade changes and forged faculty signatures were commonplace.
In the end, UNC avoided sanctions essentially because the NCAA doesn’t have jurisdiction over these types of academic matters. Moreover, UNC maintained that since these classes were offered to all students, athletes did not receive benefits that violated rules.
Here’s what some people are saying about the ruling:
This next tweet perfectly encapsulates how Tarheel nation is reacting:
Let’s hope Roy Williams responds to inevitable questions better than John Calipari did at Kentucky media day Thursday.
Regardless of which side of this debate you fall on, it’s tough to argue that both UNC and the NCAA didn’t come out of this mess with bruised reputations.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images