Longtime ESPN analyst Dick Vitale called the NCAA's ruling on the University of North Carolina academic violations "embarrassing" and "unreal."
Longtime ESPN analyst Dick Vitale called the NCAA's ruling on the University of North Carolina academic violations "embarrassing" and "unreal" in a series of tweets Friday, after the university received no punishment.
He added that the "NCAA never fails to amaze me," and claimed that if the investigation was into a different school such as Louisville, the results would not be the same.
The investigation stems from UNC's so-called “paper classes” that required minimal coursework—simply a paper at the end of the semester—and were most popular with athletes. The NCAA ruled that the classes did not violate its policies, stating it wasn't only student athletes who benefited from the courses.
North Carolina faced five top-level charges, including lack of institutional control, and athletes receiving "preferential access" to African and Afro-American Studies classes. The only violations the NCAA’s panel found were lack of cooperation by two former UNC employees, the former department head and former secretary of curriculum.
A former U.S. Justice Department official looked into the African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department and found that independent study-style courses were misidentified as lecture courses and estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011, with athletes across several sports, including members of the football and men's basketball teams, accounting for half the enrollment.
A former learning specialist said that workers in the school’s tutoring program were steering athletes to take paper classes so they could remain eligible to compete and sued the school. She claimed she was retaliated against and received a demotion for her whistleblowing.
At least four people were fired as a result of the scandal after the report came out.