North Carolina academic fraud went on for years amid lax oversight, report finds

Wainstein, a partner of the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, described a setup allegedly largely masterminded by Crowder who, he said, was motivated by a “passion for helping students and a belief that (college athletes) weren’t being supported by the university.” Crowder was also a devoted fan and “was occasionally unable to come to work for a day or two after the Tar Heels lost a basketball game,” according to the report.

Wainstein said Nyang’oro, who became chairman of curriculum in 1992, was permissive and sympathetic to athletes.

Crowder, he said, took advantage of Nyang’oro’s leniency and “started to implement a plan to offer classes that awarded high grades with little regard for the quality of a student’s work.”

Probes into the situation have long directed blame at Nyang’oro and Crowder. Wainstein’s report doesn’t disagree, but it details ways in which others within the school either enabled the fraud or failed to recognize it.

For instance, the report said that many of the counselors in a university department that provides academic counseling to athletes knew about the situation to varying degrees and often steered players to the courses. Some nicknamed classes within the program as “GPA boosters.” Others allegedly complained to Crowder that courses for athletes were too demanding. More than 3,000 students were enrolled in paper-only courses, according to the report.