Weekend roundup: More on academics

June, 11, 2012
6/11/12
10:00
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UNC hoops-related stories, notes and quotes from the weekend:

MORE ACADEMIC FRAUD INVESTIGATION: In early May, The News & Observer first reported that football and basketball players represented 39 percent of the enrollment in the 54 courses in the Department of African and Afro-American studies in which an internal investigation produced evidence of unauthorized grade changes, and little or no instruction by professors.

Basketball coach Roy Williams said through team spokesman at that time that he was not concerned that basketball players made up about 3 percent of the students enrolled in those classes, because they were eligible to take those classes, just like any other student, and they did the work assigned to them.

Saturday, The N&O’s Dan Kane raised new questions about whether Tar Heel athletes -- specifically football players -- were being steered toward those suspect classes. Wrote Kane:
A summer class at UNC-Chapel Hill that lacked any instruction was enrolled exclusively with football players – and it landed on the school calendar just days before the semester started, university records show.

The records show that in the summer of 2011, 19 students enrolled in AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina, 18 of them players on the football team, the other a former player. They also show that academic advisers assigned to athletes helped the players enroll in the class, which is the subject of a criminal investigation.

The advisers also knew that there would be no instruction.

The newest revelations involved football players, but it’s interesting to take a look at how basketball enrollments break down in each of the 54 classes, as shown by these records released to The N&O.

Of note:
  • Two classes -- one in a 2007 summer session, the other in a 2008 summer session -- show 100 percent basketball enrollment, but each only included one student (as an independent study). The next highest percentage for basketball players in one class was another summer school course in 2008 in which two students were enrolled -- a basketball player, and a non-student-athlete.
  • During the 2008-09 national title regular season, there were two basketball enrollments in classes deemed “irregular.” In one class, AFAM 428, there were 36 enrollments in the class (including one basketball player and 21 other student-athletes, total). The other, AFRI 520, included one basketball player and 12 other student athletes. There were 38 total enrollments.
  • One basketball player was also enrolled in an “irregular” 2009 summer school class; eight of nine enrollments in that class were student-athletes. Another basketball player was enrolled in an “aberrant” 2009 summer school class; six of the seven enrollees were student-athletes.
  • In all, there were 23 basketball enrollments, and 246 football enrollments in the suspect classes during the school’s internal review period, which covered summer 2007 through summer 2011. (Note: one player could have enrolled in more than one class, so that doesn’t necessarily mean 23 basketball players were involved).

Wrote Kane on Saturday:
Nancy Davis, a spokeswoman for the university, and Jonathan Hartlyn, a senior associate dean who oversees the African studies department and conducted the internal review, continued to stress that non-athletes also took the suspect classes and received the same treatment grade-wise. Records show 42 percent of the enrollments were non-athletes.

But they also noted the university contacted the NCAA when they became aware of what happened with the summer class. The NCAA has yet to say anything about the academic fraud case.

UNC chancellor Holden Thorp wrote in a letter to the UNC Board of Trustees that the school is trying to determine how the football-only summer school class in 2011 was created and how the student-athletes were registered for it.

BRITT MAKES CUT: Nate Britt, a class of 2013 point guard who has verbally committed to UNC, made the final cut for the 2012 USA men’s basketball U18 team.

Forward Joel James, who will arrive at UNC as an incoming freshman later this month, did not make the final roster, but he told USABasketball.com before the final cut that he has been working on different facets of his game:
"A lot of people just see me as a one-dimensional player because I'm so big, so they just use me as a pick-and-roll guy or just a post defender," James said. "But I feel like I can expand my moves. I feel I have a great touch around the rim.

"I thought I came in (to training camp) feeling strong. I've been lifting and running and just getting prepared for Carolina. Coming here also gave me a chance to try out the new moves I've been learning, and to play against bigger players. It's been great."
BY THE NUMBERS: ESPN Insider Chad Ford has the complete list of how every player at the NBA draft combine measured up .

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.

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