Fallston Group

A Black Heel to a Black Eye – UNC’s “Paper Class” Scandal

The latest NCAA scandal involves one of the top public education institutes in the country, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC is accused of academic fraud and allowing student-athletes to enroll in phony classes with no lectures or attendance policies to remain eligible.

The “paper classes” most noticeably involved the 2005 men’s national championship basketball team, where former star player Rashad McCants told ESPN he took nothing but “paper classes” in the spring semester of 2005, receiving straight A-minuses and ”earning” Dean’s list honors. Former football player Michael McAdoo said academic counselors “systematically funneled” student-athletes into these phony classes which kept them eligible. Ultimately, with eligible student-athletes the school’s sports teams performed higher, and drove revenue for the university.

It’s no secret who needs to be held accountable in this case – UNC leaders, including the president and anyone else who was aware of these “paper class” offerings. Since the allegations, UNC has said they’ve rid of university staff that was involved, and that they have learned a valuable lesson, but that’s not enough. More should be done, including forfeiting championships and awards that were given to teams who were involved since 2004. Without taking ownership, the NCAA will unravel a mess of an investigation and greatly humiliate one of the most prominent universities in our country, and its proud student body and alumni who have done no wrong.

We will continue to follow this academic crisis, and comment on what was executed and how further damage can be avoided.

For more information regarding crisis management, please contact Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or by email at info@fallstongroup.com.

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