A recent investigation revealed that the University of North Carolina has played hookey from its academic diligence. Between 1993 and 2011, around 3,000 UNC students, with about half being athletes, were enrolled in phantom African and Afro-American Studies classes. The scheme for grade-point-average padding consisted of independent nonstudy groups or attending lectures that were never held. The academic levels for most of the students involved were very low. The administrative skill levels of the high-ranking UNC officials were even lower, since they reportedly were unaware that the fraud was going on.
In classic and predictable form, officials at UNC have made assurances that new safeguards are now in place. Instead of the old safeguards being ignored, a revised set of standards can now be manipulated in order to keep their sports programs competitive.
There is nothing new about cooking the collegiate grade books in order to sustain the strength of an athletic program, especially involving football and basketball. UNC is hardly the only college guilty of such activity and college isn't the only level of school giving free passes to its jocks. When I was in high school, “basket weaving” was a euphemism for fluff grading and it also gave a bad name to basket weavers.