The school is accused of five major violations, including lack of institutional control, but the basketball coach’s name appears just once in the 59-page document, and he is not included in any part of the actual allegations.
“I’ve said I felt very comfortable for a very long time because we’ve been investigated by 73 people and all 12 disciples of the Lord, it feels like, and every one of them has said Roy Williams didn’t know anything about this; he didn’t do anything,” Williams said Tuesday during an interview with ESPN.com and Yahoo! Sports. “So there was a sense of relief, but it’s what I expected. It wasn’t a big relief, because it’s what I thought was going to be there.
“But how can you say it’s a relief when there are five allegations against your university, very serious things? How can it be a lot of relief?”
Good for Roy!
One of the more interesting quotes from the article was in regards to possibly vacating the 2005 national title:
Five members of the 2005 national championship team were listed as African and Afro-American studies majors, taking classes that have since been revealed to be fraudulent.
Some have speculated that could mean the championship will be vacated, but Williams argued that despite the paper classes, his players were, in fact, eligible.
“Even if you give a guy four Fs in that spring semester, he’s still eligible,” he said. “We didn’t have ineligible players. They took courses that the university offered.”
Essentially, we have Roy throwing “the university” under the bus for offering the now infamous “paper classes”. Roy would have us believe that these classes would have somehow existed at a university with the reputation of UNC if there were no athletes at all. You know…it is quite common for people at top rated universities to risk their entire careers to create “paper classes” so non-athletes can slide through college.
One of the central figures of the scandal, Jan Boxill, has quite an impressive list of accomplishments in her career(see here). AfAM Department Head Julius Nyang’oro was forced to resign and was charged with fraud over his part in the scandal.
Why would these two, and others, destroy everything they have worked for their entire lives if the “paper classes” weren’t about athletic eligibility? What was their motivation if it wasn’t to keep athletes eligible?
Today’s comments from Roy triggered my memory of an earlier article by Dan Kane from 11/14:
>During the season that the UNC men’s basketball team made its run to the 2005 NCAA championship, its players accounted for 35 enrollments in classes that didn’t meet and yielded easy, high grades awarded by the architect of the university’s academic scandal.
The classes, some advertised as lectures but that never met and others listed as independent studies, were supervised by Deborah Crowder, a manager in African and Afro-American studies who a report from former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein says graded required end-of-semester work leniently as part of a “paper class” scheme to keep athletes eligible. Crowder was not a professor and admitted to investigators that she assigned grades without reading the papers.
Of the 35 bogus class enrollments, nine came during the fall semester of 2004, when eligibility for the spring was determined. Twenty-six were during the spring semester, when the season climaxed with a victory over Illinois in St. Louis.
One of the basketball players, Rashad McCants, had previously told ESPN he took nothing but paper classes in the spring 2005 semester. His transcript showed he was in three independent studies plus one lecture class that had no instruction. He received straight A-minuses, making the dean’s list.
Obviously Roy’s mention in today’a article of giving a player 4 Fs in the Spring semester was in reference to Rashad McCants taking 4 bogus classes and making the Dean’s List during the Spring of 2005 during the national title run. I wonder why Roy made no mention of the 9 paper classes his basketball players took in the Fall of 2004 or the 22 other bogus classes taken by basketball players in the Spring of 2005? Would these players have been eligible if they had been given 9 Fs the previous Fall?
Roy…speak up please.
Maybe Roy didn’t mention these other 31 paper classes his 2005 title team took because he has learned to keep his comments to a minimum due to his many conflicting statements in the past. An 11/14 article by Dane Kane highlights his prior conflicting statements:
Williams’ changing story
The N&O’s reporting revealed the scandal in 2011, but Williams, for a long time, provided little detail as to what he knew about the classes. Numerous times he said he was proud of the academic experience his players received.
“Our track record is pretty doggone good,” Williams told a Charlotte radio station on Aug. 15, 2012. “And our track record has been pretty doggone good for 15 years at Kansas, nine years at North Carolina. And we know how much we emphasize the academic side in the basketball office. We know what our guys are majoring in. We know – every day we’re in touch with those kids. So it’s something, again, that I’m very proud of.”
Four months later, at a press conference, an N&O reporter asked Williams why his players had stopped taking AFAM paper classes by the start of the fall 2009 semester. Was it because Crowder had retired, or did someone in the program notice something wrong?
Williams responded: “You say we either did something, or we didn’t do something. Maybe guys, girls, just decided not to take certain classes.”
The athletic department later adopted that same position, with spokesman Steve Kirschner saying in a statement on Nov. 16, 2012: “Different players have different interests.”
When Wainstein’s report came out, it included new information from Williams that provided a possible explanation why his players weren’t enrolling in AFAM classes.
He told Wainstein’s investigators that shortly after he arrived at UNC, he was concerned that so many of his athletes were majoring in AFAM; the 2005 team alone had 10 of 15 players with that major. He said he told one of his assistant coaches, Joe Holladay, to make sure they weren’t being steered to the major.
The report also said Williams knew McCants took “three or four” independent study courses in the spring 2005 semester. McCants took three that were listed as an independent study. The fourth was identified as AFAM 65, Topics in Afro-American Studies. That, too, was a paper class. In the Wainstein report, Williams said he told Holladay to emphasize that his players should be in lecture classes instead of independent study.
After the Wainstein report came out, Williams said in two news conferences that he was concerned about his players clustering in a major. Records show they continued to cluster in another popular major, Communications, while many others were listed as undeclared.
Kirschner said in an email that Williams would not be made available for an interview. Kirschner stood by his November 2012 statement.
So first he knows about players’ majors, then Roy makes comments suggesting he wasn’t worried about clustering. Then in the Wainstein report it claims Roy was worried about clustering in Afro-American Studies, but he failed to concern himself with the later clustering in Communications. Makes sense right?
But don’t worry, Roy now has a sense of relief!