Former North Carolina Football Player Gives First-Hand Account of Academic Fraud

Former North Carolina defensive lineman Tydreke Powell appeared on a local radio station on Monday and had some pretty alarming information regarding the academic scandal that is currently putting his old school in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Powell, who played for the North Carolina football team from 2007-2011, first indicated that “everyone knew” about the “paper” classes that a large portion of student-athletes took beginning in 1992. Powell then went as far to say that current North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams knew about the widespread academic fraud (h/t Sports Illustrated). 

Here is a brief part of Powell’s interview with 102 Jamz in North Carolina.

Listen, let me tell you this right here. One thing about Carolina, man, if you ain’t got a class with a basketball player, you [better] go find one. If you got one with [them], you know it’s an A … Butch Davis kinda turned it around, but we still didn’t get no respect. But when these guys, when you walked into class and saw a basketball player, if you dropped that class, I mean you were just ignorant, man.

He then went on to indict former football coach Butch Davis in the scandal.

Butch Davis came into a meeting one day and he said, ‘if ya’ll came here for an education, you should’ve went to Harvard,'” Powell said. “When somebody says that, what are we supposed to do? That’s our leader, man. It ain’t that we go in there and be like ‘we want to take African American studies.’ How did we know about it? They put it on the table for us, you can do this, do that.

This comes on the heels of a separate report that indicated members of North Carolina’s run to the college basketball championship in 2005 took 35 “bogus” classes. 

The NCAA is still making a final determination about what penalties North Carolina will receive, but it’s highly likely that both its football and basketball programs will be put on some sort of probation. It just remains to be seen just how hard the NCAA will come down.

Former Department of Justice official Kenneth Wainstein first ran a damning report on North Carolina’s alleged academic fraud last month. You can read our write up on that report right here. 

Photo: ESPN.com