A large number of parents were paying Mr. William “Rick” Singer to help their children get into colleges where their kids wouldn’t otherwise gain admission.
The schemes, according to a long string of articles covered in most newspapers which I won’t link, included techniques such as:
Creating fake profile of the student being a competitive athlete when the student had not even played the sport.
Paying to have another person take your SAT or ACT tests.
Hiring a proctor to oversee extra-testing time and then correcting answers.
Flow of cash was complicated, as expected. Most of the dollars went to a non-profit foundation set up by Mr. Singer. He then distributed portions of the money to college sports coaches, proctors, and other participants. Some of the payments went directly from the parents to the colleges.
Oh, by making those payments to a charity, the payments became tax deductible. So there is also a tax fraud angle for all the involved parents to ponder. You can easily guess someone from IRS Criminal Investigations is involved in each of the cases.
As mentioned in previous post, articles keep popping up on the systemic academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill. Trying to hold my posts to under a thousand words each means there need to be multiple updates.
Reporter says the UNC scheme was widely known
UNC grad, class of ’92, explains the reason UNC claimed as legitimate classes they previously confessed were fraudulent. Also says this fiasco shows him the UNC leadership chose money over honor.
10/13/17 – Duke Basketball Report at SB Nation –A Pitiful Victory– Article goes over a long list of warning signs of systemic cheating and fraud at UNC. After most of the points, the writer makes some comment along the lines of they knew, or we knew, meaning there was common knowledge of cheating.
Apparently there was a massive scandal at UNC back in the ‘60s and the school made a strong commitment to play clean. Article shows that commitment to integrity only lasted until somewhere around 1990.
Author says the rest of the ACC, and maybe everyone in college sports, should be upset with the lying and cheating. I agree. The NCAA isn’t able to find anything in the rule book to say academic and athletic fraud is actually punishable. (Next article says they removed from their rulebook the rule that said academic fraud is punishable.)
The current administration addressed the academic fraud with the accrediting agency and accepted responsibility. An internal investigation concluded the purpose of the fake courses was to keep athletes academically eligible for participation. The University drew a one year academic probation.
Article provides quotes saying that the University accepted responsibility, identified the courses as wrongdoing, admitting the courses were frauds, acknowledging the scheme was running for a long time, and agreed that more than two people were involved.
The NCAA announced it will not impose sanctions on UNC Chapel Hill men’s and women’s basketball program for a systemic academic fraud that offered about 200 different “paper courses” over a two decade timeframe.
The NCAA acknowledges that from 1989 through 2011 around 6,000 students were in those courses. The NCAA acknowledges for these courses minimal attendance was required, faculty helped with papers, and the grading was quite loose. An internal investigation found 3,100 students took a paper course during a specific 9 year timeframe, with somewhere around half of those enrolled being student athletes.
The reason UNC walks?
Non-athletes participated in the paper courses.
Since the known and admitted fraudulent courses weren’t used to benefit only athletes, the NCAA concluded the scheme does not violate their rules.
The systemic academic failure at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has been out of the news for a while because the NCAA has been taking their time addressing the cheating. Oh, also because UNC appears to be stonewalling, according to the following article.
It is possible that after six years of the scandal there might actually be some closure in August after an NCAA hearing.
You can find my previous posts on this self-induced fiasco here.
7/31/17 – The Virginian-Pilot – UNC’s arrogance over academic scandal has tainted the school’s once-great image – Article provides a good recap of the scandal. From ‘93 through ’11 there were 3,100 students who took special classes which neither required attendance not taking notes nor homework nor quizzes. A non-academic administrator graded the term papers, assuming the frequently plagiarized (per the article) term papers were actually written by the students. The term papers averaged an A-minus grade. Over half of the students were athletes.
While tech innovations have opened up new frontiers, innovation is disrupting some fields. Here are a few articles making this point that I’ve accumulated recently: newspaper circulation continues to collapse, higher ed is increasingly vulnerable to disruptions, and accreditation agencies (which illustrate regulatory capture) show why disruption is needed.
Yesterday I thought to check on the status of the systemic academic and athletic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill. Wanted to see if the disaster in the news a year ago has been cleaned up. In that fiasco over 3000 students got credit for paper classes. The scheme ran for approximately 18 years. The systemic scheme was partially investigated several times before the depth of the fiasco was actually understood.
Report reminds us that in the last 12 months the accrediting organization placed the University on probation, the NCAA has raised allegations of five severe violations, and one faculty member has resigned. There is still far more to do.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) placed UNC-Chapel Hill on one year probation for the systemic 18 year fiasco in which about 3,100 students were given credit for paper classes. Ten of the 15 players on the 2005 championship men’s basketball team majored in the department that was providing those fake classes.
I’ve previously discussed this academic and athletic fraud here, here, and here.
The frontiers of private space travel, technology innovations, and the education revolution are amazing to watch. Here are a few articles that caught my eye that I thought are worth a mention of the frontiers that are wide open today:
4/14 – Popular Mechanics – Elon Musk: Falcon 9 Landed “Too Hard for Survival’ – Getting closer to success… The third attempt to land the first stage of SpaceX’s rocket didn’t quite work. The rocket landed on the barge, but apparently hit too hard for the rocket to be reusable. First reports don’t give much more info. The video feed shows the rocket trying to maneuver to the remain completely vertical right before landing, which is probably an indication of some minor issue in addition to too much speed.
A few more tries and then success and then a radical drop in the cost of space flights.
Average daily output in North Dakota declined to 1,190,511 bopd, down 3.0% from the slightly revised December record high of 1,227,483. When I say slightly, I mean the December average was increased by 139 bopd, or one-hundredth of one percent.
That brings production down to just over the amount in November. January is the third highest average.
This month I graphed the monthly value of oil production. More on that tomorrow.
The short version of the scandal: one department at UNC-Chapel Hill offered paper classes to around 3,100 students over 18 years. A new book points out the courses lifted many students GPAs above the NCAA minimum requirement. One student even made Dean’s list in a semester when he says he did no academic work.
The department running the scheme used codes from three different areas to prevent students from appearing to accumulate too many hours in one department, which would have run afoul of academic rules. To lift students GPAs would need multiple classes for each student. I’ve not seen guesses on how many courses were faked. Do you suppose it was 5 per student? 8? In other words, perhaps 15,000 or 24,000 fake grades.