Column Corner: Colleges offer fake classes for student athletes


Staff Writer

Last October, the University of North Carolina, or UNC, was found guilty of making fake classes for college athletes for 18 years. Attorneys for two former players filed a class-action lawsuit against UNC and the NCAA with the goal of ensuring athletes at all major college sports’ programs receive the education they are promised in exchange for playing sports. 

These fake classes helped college athletes stay eligible to play sports while attending UNC. In order to pass these ‘classes,’ all the athletes had to do was write a few papers in order to receive passing grades. This scandal was brought to light five years ago, and punishment is still being dealt to UNC.  

UNC hired Kenneth Wainstein, former federal prosecutor, to investigate the fake classes, and he reported that 3,100 student athletes that attended UNC were involved in the scandal. He also went on to report that the actual number of student athletes involved was most likely much higher. The attorneys claim these fake classes directly harmed the two former student-athletes, stating that these two and many other players did not know that these classes were fake. The NCAA is also investigating 20 other colleges for academic fraud, but it did not name the schools. 

It is such a shame that major universities and colleges would make fake classes just so student-athletes could play for their program. I know that some people have a harder time in school, but that doesn’t mean that they should get a free pass on academics. 

The schools that have done this, or that might be doing this, are setting up student-athletes for failure. What if the players enrolled in fake classes don’t make it to the pros or get a career ending injury? They don’t have a real education to fall back on, and it all comes down to the schools that just let them skate by. 

I believe the colleges that are involved in this scandal should be sued. I don’t believe that the players involved should be stripped of their degree because they probably didn’t know what was happening. If they did know that the classes were fake, then it is on the student-athletes that took those classes, and it will come back to haunt them in the long run.