Report: North Carolina’s 2005 championship team tied to academic scandal

The University of North Carolina’s 2005 championship-winning men’s basketball team has been caught up in the academic scandal recently outlined in an independent investigation, according to a report in The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

Citing the Wainstein Report, the News and Observer says that during that season, the men’s basketball team 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 listed as lectures which never met and others under the banner of independent studies, were reportedly supervised by Deborah Crowder, a manager in African and Afro-American studies. According to the story, she graded end-of-semester work leniently to help keep athletes eligible.

The News and Observer reports that Crowder "was not a professor and admitted to investigators that she assigned grades without reading the papers."

Of those 35 enrollments, nine came during the fall when eligibility for the spring was determined and 26 were reportedly in the spring semester.

According to the report, at least half of the 2,500 independent studies generated by the department over the life of the scandal had no instructor and were created by Crowder, the Wainstein Report found.

The documents show the depth of the 18-year scandal which, according to the newspaper report, "experts say is the biggest academic fraud in college athletics."