Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin earlier today released the long-awaited results of his months-long investigation into improprieties within the Department of Afro- and African-American Studies at the University of North Carolina. The conclusion: This wasn’t an athletic scandal.
There is a lot more to come today now that the Martin report is out. The report, if you haven’t heard, concluded that the misdeeds at North Carolina were part of an academic scandal – and not one involving the athletic department. Again, lots, lots more to come here.
But I did want to post a statement from Butch Davis that just arrived in my inbox, courtesy of one of his lawyers. Here is Davis’ statement:
UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp has said he's determined to get to the bottom of academic issues related to athletics at UNC. SHAWN ROCCO
CHAPEL HILL — For the first time, NCAA President Mark Emmert earlier today commented on the ongoing academic fraud case at North Carolina. Well, he kind of commented.
Emmert joined CBSSports.com columnist Gary Parrish on The Gary Parrish Show, which is broadcast on 92.9-FM in Memphis. You can listen to the interview right here – it starts at about the 20-minute mark. If you do listen, you’ll understand that Parrish’s questions were a lot better than Emmert’s anwers.
CHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina informed the NCAA in August 2011 about “potential academic issues” involving athletes and courses in the university’s African and Afro-American Studies department, according to a statement UNC released on Friday.
A member of the NCAA’s enforcement staff visited Chapel Hill “several times” in the fall of 2011 and participated in UNC’s internal investigation of the AFAM department. The NCAA staff concluded there were no violations of NCAA rules related to the university’s internal investigation into the AFAM department, which identified 54 problematic courses over a span of four years.
Records released to The News & Observer showed that athletes filled many of those suspect AFAM courses.
Here is UNC’s complete statement:
Julius Peppers was one of the smartest basketball players Matt Doherty ever coached, the former UNC coach posted on Twitter earlier on Tuesday. PHOTO: Scott Sharpe, N&O file
CHAPEL HILL — Former North Carolina coach Matt Doherty took to his Twitter account earlier today and defended the intelligence of Julius Peppers, the former Tar Heels’ all-American football player whose college transcript (somehow) made its way onto UNC’s website.
The transcript, which went viral after N.C. State fans discovered it on an obscure page of UNC’s website, showed that Peppers was barely eligible to play during his college years. He left UNC with a 1.8 GPA – at least in classes for which a letter grade was recorded – and he made Ds or Fs in 11 courses.
Nonetheless, Doherty had this to say on Twitter about Peppers: “Julius Peppers was one of the smartest players I ever coached.” Full tweet:
Julius Peppers released a statement on Saturday about his college transcript, and said there was no academic fraud on his record. PHOTO: Scott Sharpe, N&O file
CHAPEL HILL — Julius Peppers has released a statement through his agent about his transcript, which became public after it was posted on a University of North Carolina website. Peppers academic record came under scrutiny because of his low grades and because he took several African and Afro-American Studies courses that helped him remain eligible.
Peppers was an AFAM major during his time at UNC, but did not graduate. An all-American during his college years, he is now an all-pro defensive end with the Chicago Bears. Here is Peppers’ statement:
During his years at UNC, Julius Peppers worked closely with Carl Carey, who was an athletic department academic counselor at the time. PHOTO: Scott Sharpe, N&O file
CHAPEL HILL — If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this story I wrote after speaking on Monday with Carl Carey, who is Julius Peppers’ agent and who was Peppers’ academic counselor in the athletic department at North Carolina.
Carey worked from 1998 through 2002 at UNC as an athletic department academic counselor, and he also taught in the African and Afro-American Studies department. While at UNC, he formed an especially close relationship with Peppers. That relationship is detailed here in a story that Tom Friend wrote for ESPN the Magazine.
Like a lot of sports agents, Carey is kind of a divisive figure. That’s especially true today, after it emerged that he created a website labeling one of my colleagues at The News & Observer as “dirty.” I’m not going to link to it but you might have already seen it, anyway. And no, I didn’t ask Carey about that website during our conversation.
But I did ask him, among other things, about his relationship with Peppers, his time working as an athletic department academic counselor at UNC, how difficult it was to keep certain athletes eligible and how athletes managed to find their way into certain courses at UNC.
So here he is, on a variety of issues:
CHAPEL HILL — If you read News & Observer reporter Dan Kane’s latest story from over the weekend about the academic issues that continue to plague the University of North Carolina, you know that the story referenced a mysterious, unidentified academic transcript from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In short, the transcript belonged to a UNC student from the late 1990s and early 2000s who was majoring in African and Afro-American Studies, who arrived at UNC in 1998 with an 870 SAT and who struggled through – or failed – most non-AFAM courses. University officials had described the transcript as a “test transcript” posted to help students and advisers navigate a website that would provide academic progress information.
It seems, though, that the transcript is not a “test transcript” at all, but one that belongs to former North Carolina football all-American Julius Peppers, who also helped lead the Tar Heels to a share of the regular-season ACC basketball championship in 2001.
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina on Wednesday announced the hiring of two new athletic department officials whose responsibilities will be, in part, to strengthen the athletic department’s oversight of academic and NCAA compliance issues.
Vince Ille (pronounced ILL-ee) will come to UNC from the University of Illinois, and will serve as a senior associate athletic director at UNC. Paul Pogge will come to UNC from the University of Denver, and he will serve as an associate athletic director.
Ille had worked since 1998 at Illinois, where he supervised 11 sports, coordinated the department’s strategic planning, risk management and quality control, and advised the athletic director on compliance matters. Pogge spent the past three years at Denver, where he was an associate and assistant athletic director for strategic planning and partnerships.
In a statement that UNC released on Wednesday afternoon, university athletic director Bubba Cunningham said the motivation behind the new hires was to help strengthen some of the problems that have plagued the athletic department in recent years.