NY Times: Charges of Fraud at UNC

Coming on the ‘heels’ of this fantastic must-read article, the New York Times jumps in. There is nothing majorly new here…except this is national attention. You need to read the entire column; snippets below (The NY Times):

In the summer of 2011, 19 undergraduates at the University of North Carolina signed up for a lecture course called AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina. The professor was Julius Nyang’oro, an internationally respected scholar and longtime chairman of the African and Afro-American studies department.

It is doubtful the students learned much about blacks, North Carolina or anything else, though they received grades for papers they supposedly turned in and Mr. Nyang’oro, the instructor, was paid $12,000. University and law-enforcement officials say AFAM 280 never met. One of dozens of courses in the department that officials say were taught incompletely or not at all, AFAM 280 is the focus of a criminal indictment against Mr. Nyang’oro that was issued last month.

Eighteen of the 19 students enrolled in the class were members of the North Carolina football team (the other was a former member), reportedly steered there by academic advisers who saw their roles as helping athletes maintain high enough grades to remain eligible to play.

Handed up by an Orange County, N.C., grand jury, the indictment charged Nyang’oro with “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously” accepting payment “with the intent to cheat and defraud” the university in connection with the AFAM course — a virtually unheard-of legal accusation against a professor.

The indictment, critics say, covers just a small piece of one of the biggest cases of academic fraud in North Carolina history. That it has taken place at Chapel Hill, known for its rigorous academic standards as well as an athletic program revered across the country, has only made it more shocking.

Athletes, including many from the popular and revenue-producing football and basketball teams, made up nearly half of the students enrolled in the dubious courses.

The university says the blame rests firmly and exclusively with two people: Mr. Nyang’oro and Deborah Crowder, the department manager, who retired in 2009 after 30 years there.

Some on campus and elsewhere are skeptical that just two people could carry out the questionable activities on their own. “How in the world could a scam like this go on for so long, and no one knew about it?” asked Mr. Smith, the professor.

Michael O. West, a friend and onetime North Carolina colleague of Mr. Nyang’oro, believes the university has made him a scapegoat. “My view is that the university is portraying these two people, Nyang’oro and Crowder, as a couple of rogue employees,” Mr. West said.

“But I am sure there were many people in the athletic department and elsewhere who were aware of it,” he added. “These two people are being made to take the blame and put out to dry, when the problem was institutional.

[Emphasis above by SFN]

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UNC Scandal

Home Forums NY Times: Charges of Fraud at UNC

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    Nothing new here, except this is national attention, and you need to read the entire column; snippets below (The NY Times): In the summer of 2011, 19
    [See the full post at: NY Times: Charges of Fraud at UNC]


    Gotta hand it to the brilliant PR Machine at The Flagship. They championed a “review” with no subpoena power and so we’re basically reading the same media report ad nauseum.


    So will this fraud case possibly drag more of the scandal into the public eye now that someone with subpoena power will be asking the questions? Or is there still a way to keep the information they want hidden that way?

    Alpha Wolf

    With any luck, Nyang’oro’s lawyer call up some of the muckety-mucks involved in this and makes them testify under oath and in open court. Then s/he can ask some very difficult questions with the prospect of perjury hanging overhead. Will the Ivory Tower types love dear old Carolina so much that they are willing to risk some hard time in Pound Me In The A state pen? I’d love to find out.

    Also, personally, I think that USA Today’s Eric Prisbell has a lot of the information already, and it is my hope that he is working on a book that will finally blow the doors open on this story once and for all.


    “They said that his continual reappointment as the department chairman, a job most professors hold for 10 years at most, reflected the university’s indifference to what was going on there.”

    Are they sure it was indifference?

    With the right PR, you can rule the world these days. In an information age, he who controls the information, controls the age. Props to UNC; they’re the masters.

    Alpha Wolf

    Sometimes, as a State fan, I feel like Scooby Doo trying to pull the mask off of the bad guy.

    I just long to hear “I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you kids!”


    We are all aware that the one AFAM class being highlighted here is but a drop in the bucket for the massive fraud at the Flagship; I am not an attorney, but I wonder if the threat of prosecution for the multitude of fraudulent classes will be balanced with an offer for Dr. Kangaroo to sing like a bird?


    Pretty funny, Dan Kane on Twitter taking a shot at the NYT for putting the story he broke two years ago on its front page yesterday.

    Big Dog

    Is the same New York Times that recently confirmed that Benghazi was the result of a video?

    “At this point, what does it matter”? Applies to both situations. The PR machine trumps the uninformed.


    OK….this is TOO funny. What a New Year Present.

    I doubt that this will get much play….but it COULD have devastating effects. MOST of the Liberal Elite of the North East (who live there or moved away) ALWAYS read the NYT and swear by the opinions there.

    NOW, can you imagine Mrs. Carol Folt’s “Friends and Colleagues” at Dartmouth and the OTHER Ivey League schools reading this. They will immediately Text or perhaps call Mrs. Folt. I can just see the text…

    How can you allow this to happen? Under your leadership at Dartmouth, such going on’s NEVER HAPPENED. You must stand up for the Academic Integrity of your new Vessel, the SS UNC and take immediate action to purge the mutinous crew members that are bring shame to it as well as you. We KNOW that you are appalled at this and we will see, within the very near future, a NYT article commending you for throwing out the scurrilous scoundrels that are sullying your fine name….

    Happy New Years


    As much as I would love to see Thor’s hammer drop on that cesspool and blast it into oblivion, I’m not unhappy with them dying the samurai death of a hundred cuts. At this point, anything that puts the information out there on a national stage is good enough for me, even if there really isn’t anything new here. The one thing that I want to see happen, which may never happen, is the academia rising up and speaking out loudly. There are a thousand faculty members there, sure Prof. Smith isn’t the only one that feels the way he does.


    “Is the same New York Times that recently confirmed that Benghazi was the result of a video?”

    The NYT Benghazi article was good old fashioned journalism, where they tracked down witnesses and put together a story. That sort of reporting takes time to make sure you get it right. I wish there was more in-depth reporting like that.

    The national media must be having a slow news day to finally notice the cesspool that is UNC-Cheat.

    The attention from the NYT is nice, but what really matters is if it makes it onto ESPN.

    In the sports world, ESPN is where the people, who care about sports go for general information and the people who care about sports would react and demand accountability, because they feel their schools have been screwed in the past for less.

    Whether the NCAA would care is a different story, but it might put a dent into the national UNC-Cheat brand; and yes UNC-Cheat is one of the few colleges with a national brand, where you can see people all across the country wearing and stores selling UNC-Cheat swag, who have nothing to do with the university.

    I await a professor to write a case study of how to use what UNC-Cheat has done to break rules and get away with it for so long, because many entities across the globe would love to emulate the folks at Cheater Hill. I really think a professor could be to PR, what Michael Porter is for analyzing competition, if they study how UNC-Cheat got away with it and show it as a repeatable method.


    Damn rouges, ruining the good name … Pffft


    The only way this means anything is if Julius or Ms. Crowder sings on the stand about the direction they got from the athletic department. Everybody with a brain can see how this all went down, but until somebody talks there’s no proof.


    “Damn rouges, ruining the good name … Pffft”

    Just one more reason not to wear make-up 🙂


    And now the scathing article from BusinessWeek. And still crickets locally. I know that I have questioned my local sportswriter as to his reluctance to ask Roy or anyone else any actual, hard-hitting questions. He refuses to answer me, even deleting my comments from the paper’s website. Those few journalists in the state without direct ties to UN* are scared to get on their black list, and refuse to do any digging. It’s shameful really. Outside of Dan Kane, none of them have the sack to at least try and find the answers. And I’m sure that Dan has caught hell for what he has done so far.


    “Administrators point out that numerous reforms have been put in place. These include a series of stringent controls over the curriculum and faculty in which, for instance, course syllabuses will be monitored, faculty teaching assignments regularly reviewed, and classes subject to spot checks to ensure they are actually meeting.”

    …and the sign out sheets! Don’t forget the sign out sheets!


    “The attention from the NYT is nice, but what really matters is if it makes it onto ESPN.”

    I think any bad pub for the flagship is a good thing. Last night my wife excitedly asked me if I had seen the NYT article, did I know about the fraud, etc, etc. I calmly said yes, and asked if she actually ever listened to me (I already knew that answer) since I’ve been talking about it since the news broke. My point is that there are plenty of people who don’t frequent ESPN who are interested in this, no matter how long it took to get to the general populace. I’m all for uNX getting exposed on every media front.


    Quick thoughts:
    – This is a holiday time story. Writers have things queued up in the pipeline ready to release over the holiday season. They’re often older stories, so it looks like the NY Times has been sitting on this one.

    – UNC is definitely playing the rogue angle. This is consistent with what they did with tutors, etc.. It appears they have a well thought out plan to ensure there’s not “LOIC.” Find a bunch of scapegoats, negotiate some sweetheart deals with them and spin everything else. You have to hand it to UNC. If there’s a book coming out of this, it ought to be how to circle the wagons.

    – I hope Nyraango drops a bomb on everyone during his testimony, but I doubt that happens. I suspect he’s got a plea deal set up already paired with a nice parachute payment.

    – Nothing is ever going to happen to UNC. At the same time, I encourage all to keep their transgressions in the press. This holiday season, I actually heard some long time UNC homers admitting that they’ve got problems. It only took 3 years, but at least the fundamental and systemic cheating is being made so obvious that even the hard liners can’t ignore it.


    “asked if she actually ever listened to me”

    Mr. Plywood, we may be husbands-in-law.


    Here is a link to a hilarious and tongue-in-cheek piece on the “Carolina Way”. Follow the links to the BW article and then to the local guy’s comments.

    This is NOT going away. Funny thing, that little half naked new year’s baby, done left the ABC crowd a real prize….


    On to the BB game tomorrow….

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