Playing the Field: Julius Peppers gets caught in UNC scandal

Does this look like a man who would finagle his college transcript to stay eligible?

Anybody up for some really easy, possibly non-existent schoolwork?

We wrote about a scandal at the University of North Carolina in June, but it really hasn’t gotten much play in the mainstream media.

Well the story got stranger last week when the transcript of Julius Peppers, the All-Pro defensive end from the Bears, mysteriously appeared on the University of North Carolina website. (Rogue minimum-wage employee perhaps?) It was ripped down as soon as it was noticed, but the Raleigh News and Observer had already seen it and published its contents.

And no surprise, just like the students we mentioned in that first piece back in June, Peppers took a whole bunch of African-American Studies courses. In fact, he majored in it. This is the same department where Julius Nyang’oro was the chairman and has since stepped down after it was discovered he was “teaching” and enrolling athletes in a non-existent class.

Peppers’ transcript, which was only partial, shows he had a 1.95 GPA and a 2.16 GPA in African-American Studies classes. In order to be eligible to play football (or basketball, in which he was also a member) you have to have a GPA of at least 2.0. The transcript is only of his last year on the team, so his 1.95 GPA means he would’ve been ineligible for next fall had he not declared for the NFL Draft as a junior.

It’s entirely possible the only way he stayed eligible prior to that is because he was getting good grades in African-American Studies classes. By the way, a 1.95 GPA is roughly equal to a C- and that’s only with the C+ he was getting on average in AFAM classes.

Peppers commented on the release for the first time yesterday.

“I will admit that, at times, some of my priorities were not always aligned properly,” Peppers wrote in a statement. “Luckily, I had a great support system. … [that] who gave me much needed counsel.

“I can assure everyone that there is no academic fraud as it relates to my college transcript. I took every course with qualified members of the UNC faculty and I earned every grade whether it was good or bad.”

Mostly bad. But, hey, at least he admitted he didn’t give a crap about school. That would be the “priorities were not always aligned properly” comment if you missed the euphemism. He was drinking, partying and doing what every athlete does as Big Man on Campus.

The NCAA has been mysteriously quiet on all of this, back to the June incident. Even that investigation, which resulted in Nyang’oro being fired, was an internal one.

Sounds like somebody doesn’t want to use the precedent set in the Penn State scandal.

Women golfers!!?? Crazy!

Welcome Augusta National into the 20th Century folks, they’ve finally admitted women into their membership. Wait, maybe that’s the 19th Century?

Yes, a mere 162 years after Susan B. Anthony began campaigning for women’s right to vote, Augusta chairman Billy Payne has finally acknowledged that women are in fact people too.

The first two lucky ladies to join the club are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and investment banker Darla Moore.

So yes you too can join the club even if you have boobs as long as you were fourth in line to the presidency of the United States or are a billionaire. Or Phil Mickelson.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Does any women really want to wear one of those ugly green jackets though?



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