Chapel Hill News

Q&A on the sports impact of Wainstein report on UNC

Answering questions about the Wainstein Report released Wednesday at UNC.

Q: How many athletes took the AFAM “paper courses?”

A: The report said 1,871 of the 3,933 total enrollments between 1999 and 2011 were student-athletes, of whom 1,189 were members of the football and men’s basketball teams.

Q: Why did AFAM Chairman Julius Nyang’oro and department manager Deborah Crowder become involved in a paper-course scheme?

A: According to the report, they were motivated “by a desire to help struggling students and student-athletes.” The reports said both felt sympathy for “under-prepared students who struggled with the demanding Chapel Hill curriculum.”

Q: Why didn’t the chancellor or other high-level administrators respond quicker to resolving the controversy?

A: The report said the delay could be largely attributed to an “insufficient appreciation of the scale of the problem, an understandable lack of experience with this sort of institutional crisis and some lingering disbelief that such misconduct could have occurred at Chapel Hill.”

Q: Was UNC basketball coach Roy Williams aware of the paper-course scheme?

A: The report said former basketball academic counselors Burgess McSwain and Wayne Walden “routinely called Crowder to arrange classes for their players” and steered them into the paper courses, and that there were 167 basketball enrollments. It said Walden acknowledged knowing how the classes worked, and knew Crowder did at least some of the grading.

Wainstein said the number of players majoring – or “clustering” – in AFAM caused Williams “discomfort.” The report said Williams instructed Joe Holladay, UNC’s director of basketball operations, to “make sure” basketball and academic support personnel were not steering players to AFAM courses.

Q: What did Walden tell Williams about the classes?

A: Asked if he made Williams aware of the grading or Crowder’s involvement, Walden, according to the report, said he “did not recall” doing so. Williams and Holladay said they never learned from Walden or anyone else about Crowder and her grading.

Neither Holladay nor Walden works for UNC. Holladay retired in March 2013; Walden left in 2009.

Q: What did former football coach Butch Davis know about the scheme?

A: Davis told Wainstein he was aware of the courses and that they helped keep many of his players “afloat” academically. Although present, he said he did not remember a November 2009 presentation in which football academic adviser Beth Bridger explained the nature of the classes.

But the report said Davis “in terms of knowing how the AFAM paper classes worked, he certainly knew by the time of the November 2009 presentation.”

Q: Will there be additional sanctions from the NCAA?

A: Athletics director Bubba Cunningham said the report was given to the NCAA but it was “too early to speculate on an outcome.” Cunningham did not know when the NCAA investigation would end. According to the report, the NCAA was briefed three times and given information during Wainstein’s investigation.

Q: Is UNC considering any additional self-punishment?

A: Cunningham said none is being considered.

Q: Could the investigation result in victories, possibly NCAA championships, being forfeited or vacated?

A: Again, it’s hard to speculate. The NCAA rules on the eligibility of participating players.

Q: How much will the Wainstein report cost?

A: The total cost has not been determined but UNC System President Tom Ross said it would be “very expensive.” Wainstein charges $990 per hour for his time and informed UNC that three associates will bill the university at $775, $535 and $450 per hour.

Q: How much taxpayer money will be spent?

A: None, according to university officials.