UNC: Bballers “lost interest” in AFAM around 2007


Before the N&O goes “pay for play” here in about a week, I’d like to thank Mr. Dan Kane, perhaps for the last time, for at least attempting to keep this story front and center.  The Delay, Deflect and Deny (if necessary) defense seems to have been largely successful for the rats to the west however, and has kept their proverbial ship mostly afloat and sea-worthy (well, except for a few exceptions, huh Butch?).

But at least Mr. Kane has tried.

UNC got warning on suspect classes (NewsObserver.com)

Before we even get into any of the really interesting stuff in this one, you gotta read this quote folks….

For the first half of the last decade, independent studies offered by the Department of African and Afro-American Studies were a regular go-to class for men’s basketball players at UNC-Chapel Hill.

In one year alone, when the team won the 2005 NCAA championship, basketball players accounted for 15 enrollments, university records show.

Two years later, members of the team all but disappeared from those classes, which did not meet and typically required a paper or research project at the end. UNC-CH records show just one basketball player took an independent study from the department in the past five years.

A university athletic department spokesman attributed the decline to a waning interest in African studies among basketball players.

So, yeah.  Interesting that one of the more “engaging” fields of study among basketball players pre-2007, suddenly became so mundane after that point.  Also interesting that the original investigations were limited in scope to 2007 and beyond, huh?

But it gets better….

Former Gov. Jim Martin, who has been leading a probe into academic irregularities at UNC-CH, said in interviews that Robert Mercer, the former director of the academic support program, and John Blanchard, a senior associate athletic director who oversaw academics, said they saw higher-than-expected independent study enrollments from athletes in the African studies department.

UNC-CH records show more than 1,400 enrollments of athletes and regular students in that department from fall 2001 to summer 2006, with some professors listed as teaching dozens of them at a time. Blanchard and Mercer reported the enrollments to Dick Baddour, then the athletic director.

They said they and Baddour took the information to the Faculty Committee on Athletics, but the committee told them there was nothing to be concerned about.


Nothing to be concerned about.

So then, why the sudden seeming mass exodus of basketball player enrollments?  Well it depends upon who you ask.  But Auburn getting caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar might have had a little something to do with it.  Hard to say for certain though, because no one seems to be giving the same story on that aspect…..

“There was a concern because of the Auburn incident in independent studies,” Martin said, “so that was definitely discussed.”

Baddour, upon learning of Martin’s comments, largely confirmed that version of events, though he said he did not recall the Auburn story being part of the discussion.

“The issue,” he said, “was there seemed to be more of that (independent studies) available in that department than elsewhere.”

That appears to be where the momentum stopped for a deeper look into the enrollments and the African studies department. But the number of enrollments soon started to drop.


Members of the faculty committee, which has oversight of athletic matters on campus, say they do not recall such a warning. But the chairwoman at the time, Lissa Broome, a law professor who is now the faculty representative to the NCAA, said she did remember a discussion about the Auburn University case.

Committee minutes reflect some discussion about independent studies and include a reference to the Times report, which was published July 14, 2006. In that case, an Auburn University sociology professor had offered 272 independent studies to students in one academic year. Many Auburn athletes used the courses to boost their grade point averages.

“The committee has conducted a review of student-athletes registrations in independent study courses and has an interest in receiving current information in this regard,” the minutes of the November 2006 meeting said.

Two months later, the committee reported: “No sense exists of a current problem.” Mercer was tasked with tracking independent studies.

The discussion apparently never went beyond the faculty athletics committee, and the African studies department escaped a deeper look.


The internal probe from May, which was done by academic officials within the College of Arts and Sciences, the home of the African studies department, made no mention that there had been prior concerns about the department.


But of course, it probably really was just that the WHOLE BASKETBALL TEAM suddenly lost interest in the same subject.  I mean, that makes sense….right?

Still proud of the way you’ve done things over there Roy?

Wanna expand about some of those “problems” that were corrected that we’ve heard about so often, but have interestingly enough never heard any details about?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.  It was rhetorical.

There’s a lot more information in this one folks.  As well as a lot of review that helps tie some things together.  Click the link (here it is again) and read the whole thing.

Don’t forget to get over to the SFN Forums.  Lotsa fun stuff over there.  Really.  And for more current discussion on the Martin “investigation”, go here.




About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

UNC Scandal

26 Responses to UNC: Bballers “lost interest” in AFAM around 2007

  1. john of sparta 12/09/2012 at 7:15 PM #

    as posted before…
    this UNX thing is
    the end of the NCAA .

  2. LKNpackfan 12/09/2012 at 7:16 PM #

    …and from today’s Tampa Bay Times, where Butch Davis pedestrianly admits as he’s positioning himself for the USF job, this goes back OVER TWENTY YEARS.

    “There was nothing that came out later in the report that wasn’t known in the first 60 days of the investigation in 2010,” Davis said last month. “Nothing was new except for this ongoing academic issue that they’ve got that’s been going on for over 20 years.”


  3. Wolf74 12/09/2012 at 8:46 PM #

    Butch Davis says it has been going on over in Chapel Hill for 20 years. He was in the middle of it so he should know.

    UNC CHeater Hill – To Seem Rather than to BE.

  4. packof81 12/09/2012 at 9:07 PM #

    UNC has been caught red handed and nobody wants to punish them. The NCAA, ACC, BOG and UNC are totally corrupt.

  5. 61Packer 12/09/2012 at 11:16 PM #

    The News & Observer pay wall goes up on December 19.

    I sincerely hope with all my heart that they go bankrupt.

  6. PackerInRussia 12/10/2012 at 12:09 AM #

    So, in what way did this mass exodus manifest itself? Was it a matter of those in it graduated and no one else enrolled in the program or was it a mixture of graduation (should that be put in quotes?) and changing majors?

  7. JohnGalt78 12/10/2012 at 6:29 AM #

    The NCAA has lost interest.

  8. tuckerdorm1983 12/10/2012 at 6:45 AM #

    here is what you folks need to do if you are wishing the NCAA will do something about this:

  9. groupthink 12/10/2012 at 7:37 AM #

    dan is slowly and systematically debunking all the canned responses that have come from those in power at unc. keep in mind that this is the independent study portion of the fraud not the 54 classes that were previously found to be fradulent. every article shows more knowledge and participation by those in control. they knew about auburn, knew that they were also cheating the system, and hid it while they slowly moved away from the fraud.

  10. vtpackfan 12/10/2012 at 7:45 AM #

    The best part is that the students, faculty, chairs, deans, Chancellor and the way up to the Board, are allowing Roy and Butch to throw their school “public ivy” academia persona under the bus, all for the sake of what? The Carolina Brand that is sports first is their idol over there. They worship that if they choose they can remove the Nike swoosh and replace with a Jordan silhouette.

    It’s not the Carolina Way anyone over there cares about but the Carolina Brand-imagine how bad the economy could be if Carolina wasn’t in every Walmart.

  11. Rochester 12/10/2012 at 8:10 AM #

    What major did they suddenly become interested in after 2007? I have a hard time believing they suddenly started doing more work, so is there a new AFAM out there?

  12. Ed89 12/10/2012 at 8:27 AM #

    So, the majority of non-athlete AFAM had a great many independent study classes also. The AFAM has been going strong since 2007 (up until last year). What does that say about the quality of the AFAM degree from UNC for the last 20+ years (whether an athlete or NOT?). They’ve been able to hide for 20+ years because no one wanted to dare question the AFAM major, even though the major itself has questionable value anyway (as do about 50% of the majors at the Hole).

  13. Sweet jumper 12/10/2012 at 8:32 AM #

    You beat me to the punch, Rochester. I want to know what department is now serving the athletes with no show classes and bogus independent studies. The Carowhina way.

  14. packbackr04 12/10/2012 at 8:42 AM #


  15. projectwentynine 12/10/2012 at 8:54 AM #

    “But at least Mr. Kane has tried.”

    Agreed. This undertaking is akin to daring to write negative/honest pieces on Obama rather than insulating him from responsible journalism. If only there were more journalists like Mr. Kane out there who were more concerned with doing their job with integrity than being popular at cocktail parties.

    “What major did they suddenly become interested in after 2007?…is there a new AFAM out there?”


  16. ryebread 12/10/2012 at 9:28 AM #

    I’ve always felt that this thing was about basketball at the heart of it. At a lesser extent it was about football and baseball (I suspect UNC’s two really good years were aligned with rampant cheating there as well). That’s why UNC circled the wagons so tightly, because they didn’t want people sniffing around basketball.

    I have also accepted that nothing will be done about it. The NCAA isn’t going to do anything and UNC and the ACC certainly aren’t either. This is one of the things that has really reduced my enjoyment of college sports. I’ll watch NC State moving forwards, but that’s really about it.

  17. rtpack24 12/10/2012 at 10:06 AM #

    Roy’s right hand man Wayne Walden who was with Roy for his 15yrs in Kansas and followed him to UNC as his Assoc Director of Academic Support. Roy states in his book “I would rather lose every one of my asst coaches than lose Wayne Walden.” Roy goes on to say that “he is the best.” So after 21 yrs. Mr Walden ups and resigns his position on June 26, 2009. It was stated that he was getting married and looking for a new career. Later it comes to light that he still works at UNC assisting the swim teams with their academics. You can not make this stuff up! Mr Walden might be someone that Mr Martin might want to talk to and since he still works for the school I believe he would have to talk. However his loyality to Roy will hold.

  18. TruthBKnown Returns 12/10/2012 at 10:19 AM #

    Maybe we should make sure Auburn is aware of this. They might help us make noise about this mess.

    Carolina shouldn’t get away with it if Auburn didn’t.

  19. albunde6 12/10/2012 at 10:32 AM #

    I have been waiting for weeks for a major paper to do an indepth analysis of past penalties imposed by the ACC. Have been waiting patiently for the Atlanta paper to compare and contrast the penalties imposed on GA Tech to the absense of penalties on UNX.

  20. JohnGalt78 12/10/2012 at 10:38 AM #

    Again I say, “The NCAA has lost interest”…..

  21. packof81 12/10/2012 at 10:53 AM #

    The NCAA never had much interest to begin with.

  22. tdouble 12/10/2012 at 11:19 AM #

    As soon as Roy comes clean, maybe Upper Room Basketball Academy can. That had to be tough to create an entire transcript and high school record out of thin air for Rodney Purvis. Poor Avi Lester, did he land on his feet at another high school basketball diploma mill yet? The Jesus Basketball business is good apparently.

  23. TruthBKnown Returns 12/10/2012 at 11:36 AM #

    tdouble, you don’t know much about the Rodney Purvis situation, do you?

    The important thing is Rodney was ruled ineligible, his situation was properly and fully investigated, and he was then ruled eligible. He went through the NCAA wringer and came through clean as a whistle. When will Carolina go through that same treatment for all this new information?

  24. blpack 12/10/2012 at 1:57 PM #

    Call me crazy, but I think the NCAA is watching, waiting and collecting info. Just like at PSU. They let others do the heavy lifting. They can’t let this go, even if it only amounts to another slap on the wrist. This one for hoops. Take the banners down and you can keep your coach something like that. Or maybe reverse that. I’m hoping roy will be someone’s valentine after being led away ….

  25. NCSU84 12/10/2012 at 2:45 PM #

    “The NCAA has lost interest”. I agree that nothing will come out of this. The only way the NCAA will get involved is if the national media (not Dan Kane) picks up on the story and compares UNC’s treatment to other schools. This would force the NCAA’s hand and they would re-open the investigation. Again, this is not likely to happen, but one can only hope.

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