Playing the Field: UNC football players took non-existent class

Marvin Austin, center, was one of the students enrolled in AFAM 280. I would *really* like to see his paper.

When I was an undergrad at the University of Connecticut (basketball capital of the world, deal with it), I always felt a tremendous sense of relief when a handful of basketball players were in class on the first day. You always knew it was going to be a relatively easy semester. (You also knew you’d never see the players in class again until the final exam.)

But North Carolina took that to a different level apparently. They just let their football players not go to class at all. The Charlotte Observer exposed a sham class (AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina) that barely existed at all. The summer class had 19 students in it — 18 football players and one former player. And guess what? You didn’t even have to show up. There were no lectures — despite it being described as such — and just one term paper to be handed in at the end of the session.

Where were these classes when I was waking up for that 8 a.m. Statistics course?

The “teacher” of the class was Julius Nyang’oro, the former chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies Department. I say former because when this story came out, he conveniently resigned that position. By the way, Mr. Nyang’oro was paid $12,000 to teach this non-existent class.

The funniest part of the whole story are the emails Nyang’oro traded with the usual professor of the class, Tim McMillan. After Nyang’oro emailed McMillan to tell him he was going to open the course for the summer session McMillan asked “How many students will I have?”

“No more than 5,” Nyang’oro responded. “I will be Instructor of record and relieve you of responsibility and bother. A big relief for you?????”

What a generous person Nyang’oro is! And FIVE question marks. He must be very relieved!

After the course was opened, 18 students signed up. All football players. “I am totally taken by surprise!” Nyang’oro wrote in an email to the head of summer school classes.

And by surprised, I’m going to assume he meant not surprised. Academic advisers enrolled all of the football players in the class knowing there would be no actual classes to go to.

Vomit surprise

If reading all that made you want to vomit, you’re not alone. Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez feels the same way. If you’re one of those people who gets sick seeing someone else “get sick” you might not want to watch this video:

Yes that was Perez earning his 20th save of the season and celebrating by blowing chunks all over the infield. Why exactly does he smile after the first expulsion?

I have to think this isn’t a good sign for Perez’s future prospects as closer. Can you see Mariano Rivera upchucking after a save?


Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter
@MetroNYSports. He won’t vomit on you. Gracious of him, no?


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