According to a new report the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offered "paper classes" or shadow courses to athletes.
Earlier this year ex-UNC football player Deunta Williams and whistleblower Mary Willingham revealed how these paper classes worked.
These “shadow” classes are listed as "independent studies" in the course book and do not require any attendance. All the athletes have to do is submit a single final paper to pass the course. The students miraculously always end up getting no less than A's or B's in these courses.
They also showed an example of such a paper:
The above specimen of a report is only 146 words long and bagged the student who wrote it an A!
According to student newspaper the Daily Tar Heel, the news report "found clear evidence that academic counselors from the football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams asked for players to be enrolled in bogus independent study classes in order for them to be eligible."
Previously having denied the accusations of such classes, UNC then started to defend itself. The report rekindled the issue and resulted in a serious inquiry leading to disciplinary reviews against staff members as well as four terminations.
True, student-athletes need a lot of time and energy for practice and training, and keeping up with classes can be challenging. But what about their social and moral responsibility?
This system perpetuates graduates who don't have to take responsibility for their actions, learn to manage their priorities or have any real knowledge in their field of study.
Given that all athletes' careers come to an end – some as soon as college ends – they'll need other skills to earn a livelihood. Ghost classes and fake grades leave them in a vulnerable situation for the future.
And while this is shocking enough, we don’t know how many other colleges are doing the same.