Investigations Blog

  • Two congressmen challenge NCAA’s handling of UNC academic fraud

    Posted by Dan Kane on December 10, 2014

    Two congressmen want more information from the NCAA in the wake of a lengthy report into UNC’s academic fraud scandal that found it was largely driven by a need to keep athletes eligible to play sports.

    Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Tony Cardenas of California want the NCAA to explain how its practice of staying out of academic fraud cases if they involve all students promotes the NCAA’s mission to “maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body.”

    UNC had been maintaining for two years that the fake classes at the heart of the long-running fraud were not driven by athletics because nonathletes had the same access to them and received the same high grades. But the report by a team of lawyers led by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein found the classes were largely created to help keep athletes eligible, and that several counselors in the athletes’ tutoring program knew the classes had no instruction.


  • The UNC academic scandal told through one email

    Posted by Dan Kane on December 9, 2014

    Deborah Crowder, former UNC-CH employee who worked in the African and Afro-American Studies department.

    This email between Debby Crowder and Wayne Walden captures the UNC scandal in a nutshell.


  • Firm charges UNC $1.65 million for PR on fraud scandal, other work

    Posted by Dan Kane on November 18, 2014

    The amount of money UNC is spending on outside public relations in the wake of the academic fraud scandal is crossing past $2 million. A one-year contract with Edelman lists general public relations services, but the firm had 14 employees handling the recent Wainstein report into the academic fraud scandal.


  • UNC spending $782K on PR firm helping with academic scandal

    Posted by Dan Kane on October 29, 2014

    UNC has paid Edelman, a major public relations firm, $782,000 for help handling the academic fraud fallout and other communications efforts. A UNC spokesman says the money comes from money that isn’t taxpayer-supported funds.


  • Another mentally ill inmate died of dehydration

    Posted by Joseph Neff on September 25, 2014

    A North Carolina prison inmate with a history of mental illness died of dehydration in March, according to an Associated Press report. All the details are not yet known, but there are a number of striking similarities to the 1996 of a Vietnam veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress. A subsequent federal audit found a host of problems plaguing medical and mental-health care at Central Prison: inadequate staffing, an out-of-date facility, poor management and overuse of drugs and restraints in the psychiatric hospital.


  • For N&O, ‘Contract to Cheat’ is a different investigative approach

    Posted by Steve Riley on September 4, 2014

    Series exposes widespread tax cheating in construction nationwide. And it’s truly digital first.


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