A man identifying himself as former North Carolina defensive lineman Tydreke Powell called into radio show 102 Jamz on Monday to talk about the UNC academic scandal.
Powell, who played under Butch Davis' tenure and said on the show that he left with a degree in communications, said he took the bogus "paper" classes while he was a student and that "everyone knew" the classes were bogus. "It was like a 20, 15-page paper and you just turned it in at the end of the semester," he said.
Powell said that everyone blames the players for the scandal and he thinks the blame is displaced.
"Butch Davis came into a meeting one day and he said, 'if ya'll came here for an education, you should've went to Harvard,'" Powell said. "When somebody says that, what are we supposed to do? That's our leader, man. It ain't that we go in there and be like 'we want to take African American studies.' How did we know about it? They put it on the table for us, you can do this, do that."
Asked if he thought men's basketball coach Roy Williams knew about the fake classes, Powell said, "You know he know, man. Roy Williams is a snake."
"Listen, let me tell you this right here. One thing about Carolina, man, if you ain't got a class with a basketball player, you [better] go find one. If you got one with [them], you know it's an A ... Butch Davis kinda turned it around, but we still didn't get no respect. But when these guys, when you walked into class and saw a basketball player, if you dropped that class, I mean you were just ignorant, man."
Powell also described an instance where a men's basketball player never attended one of the classes they both shared and only came in on the day of the class. He said the girl sitting in front of the basketball player took the test for him.
"That's how it is, man, you know what I'm saying? People just look from the outside and go oh, well these kids -- no, man. It's the coaches that are telling us stuff. What are we supposed to do? We're away from our parents, we're looking up to this guy. When they come in your house and living room and they got those Super Bowl rings on, the last thing you're thinking about is a class."
Powell had 136 tackles and 6.5 sacks during his Tar Heels career, playing in 53 games.
- Molly Geary