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:
"This statement is in response to false allegations regarding my connection to an academic scandal within the University of North Carolina athletic and African-American Studies departments. This week has been an upsetting and challenging week for me, as one of my most private academic documents appeared on the university's website for public examination. I'm terribly disappointed in the fact that my privacy has been violated, as well as frustrated with whoever negligently and carelessly committed such a flagrant error.
However, it has caused me to have an important moment of reflection over the time that I was a student in Chapel Hill. During my undergraduate years, I, like many other students was trying to find direction and adjust to being independent for the first time as a young adult. With this new freedom and unfamiliar environment, I will admit that, at times some of my priorities were not always aligned properly. Luckily, I had a great support system, including Dr. Carl Carey and the athletic academic department, who gave me much needed counsel.
I can assure everyone that there is no academic fraud as it relates to my college transcript. I took every course with qualified members of the UNC faculty and I earned every grade whether it was good or bad. I was never given unapproved assistance or preferential treatment in terms of my academic career because I was a student-athlete. I was also never deemed ineligible to compete on any of the football or basketball teams.
In hindsight, I am pleased with my undergraduate experience. UNC gave me the exposure and foundation I needed to follow my dream, which ultimately led to my chosen career path. Isn't that what college is supposed to be for? Going forward, a decade later, I can honestly say that I now understand the importance of supporting students early in their college career. Presently, I'm thinking of ways that I can use my experiences and resources to help assist them. Thanks and Go Heels."