For the last few years now, the University of North Carolina has been under intense scrutiny because of allegations of academic fraud pertaining to some of their student-athletes. At this point, those allegations have taken more twists and turns than we can cover in a single news story (the topic deserves a book or, at the very least, a Wikipedia page), but if you haven't kept tabs on the fraud allegations, here's what you need to know:

  1. As far back as 2001, UNC athletes like Julius Peppers were allegedly encouraged to take certain Afro and African-American studies courses at the school. Many of those classes were either "no-show classes"—which meant that athletes didn't actually have to go to them—or they were really, really, really easy classes that met sporadically and didn't take up much time. In an internal probe conducted in 2012, UNC found that there were at least 54 such classes available between the summer of 2007 and the summer of 2012.
  2. Several tutors who worked closely with the UNC sports department over the last decade were accused of providing improper benefits to athletes. Some were found to have helped student-athletes pass classes by doing their work for them.
  3. Some UNC student-athletes were given grades that they did not deserve and had changes made to their grades after taking certain classes that were not authorized by the school. The athletic department at UNC allegedly had this done in order to keep players eligible.

Essentially, UNC reportedly failed a whole bunch of student-athletes over the course of the last 10 years or so, if all of the reports about the academic fraud are, in fact, true. And if you want to know just how bad things got at UNC, check out this final paper that ESPN found recently and included in a video report about the UNC academic scandal. The paper was reportedly the only piece of work that one student had to hand in for a class and it was, well, a joke:

Really, guys? Really? A one-paragraph paper on Rosa Parks that, by the way, makes no sense qualifies as a "final paper"? And even worse, it's a paper that deserved an A-, which is what the student-athlete who handed it in reportedly got? Yikes. This academic scandal sounds like it was even worse than we thought. What a crock.

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[via SB Nation]