clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UNC Football - Another Twist

We usually see stuff in the N&O but managed to miss this one, and it's pretty interesting, too: an account of one of the classes that formerAfrican and Afro-American Studies Department Chair Julius Nyang'oro arranged.

As it turned out, the class was set up by Nyang'oro as an independent study class despite the fact that it was supposed to be a lecture class and though he was expecting five students, on the first day he got 18 enrolled - all football players.

That's either an astounding coincidence or it was, on whatever level, a conspiracy.

That word gets a lot of negative vibes because it's usually followed by the word theory. However, the definitions are as follows:

  1. A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
  2. The action of plotting or conspiring.

Given that we now know that Marvin Austin took a second level course despite lingering academic deficiencies and despite not having taken the prerequisite, it's safe to assume now that either the football players, the academic advisors, the coaches, (not to mention a professor or professors in the department) or all these  groups understood that there were easy pickings in the African and Afro-American Studies, that it was discussed by more than two people and a plan was formulated which saw 18 football players immediately sign up for a new class.

Does anyone seriously doubt that's what happened? Okay, well, that fits the second definition above.

As for whether it was illegal or not, the SBI is in charge of that and they do have subpoena power, so time will answer that question.

Harmful? To a student like Austin, yes.

This is a guy with a particular talent, to be sure, but who came to the University as a naive 18-year-old, who was exploited by the university, put into classes for which he was neither ready nor qualified, and given grades he didn't deserve simply so that he could play on Saturdays.

It may or may not prove to be illegal, but it is certainly immoral. Again and again we see this in college sports: adults taking advantage of and manipulating young men, then casting them aside when they're done with them.

It's not really something we ever expected to see at UNC, and certainly not this nakedly. It's time - past time - to clean the stables.

Incidentally, UNC is asking Nyang'oro to repay the money he took for whatever he did with the class. You can't really call it teaching. Getting  $666.66 (hmmm) to read each paper, life just doesn't get much easier than that.

After the plagiarism with Michael McAdoo, and given what the N&O has learned about the class, we'd be very interested to give the final papers to some State fans to see what they make of it. Certainly they've been more diligent than UNC has been.