Investigations

The UNC academic scandal told through one email

This email captures the UNC scandal in a nutshell: Wayne Walden, the academic counselor to basketball players, asking Debby Crowder, a department manager, to place a learning disabled athlete in one of her “independent study type” classes, past the deadline for joining a new class and with the goal of keeping the athlete eligible to play on the court.

There's another troubling aspect to this email: UNC did not produce it to The News & Observer more than two years ago, when the paper made a public records request for all email correspondence involving Crowder, Julius Nyang'oro and academic counselors for the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes. It wasn’t until mid-2013, and after repeated inquiries from the N&O, that UNC produced emails showing a cozy relationship between ASPSA staff and Nyang'oro. But those emails represented a small portion of the relevant records.

This particular email and hundreds more surfaced in October as part of Kenneth Wainstein’s UNC-backed investigation.

Wainstein, a former chief of staff for the FBI, did not cite this Walden-Crowder email in his 131-page report, but included it in 1,100 pages of supplemental records.

This email shows the depths of the scandal like no other we've seen to date. Thanks to DocumentCloud.org, we’ve annotated it with information from Wainstein's report, UNC records and other reporting (Note: You may want to use the zoom function in the top right corner to read the email).

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