Former federal prosecutor outlines scope of UNC investigation


Various file shots of the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on September 26, 2013.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ken Wainstein, the former federal prosecutor conducting an independent investigation of the academic scandal involving student athletes at UNC-Chapel Hill, briefed the UNC Board of Governors Friday on the scope of his investigation.

WTVD-TV reported that Wainstein said his team has interviewed 80 potential witnesses and reviewed 1.5 million emails and other electronic documents. It has also gone through thousands of student records and transcripts.

“To date, the university has been tremendously cooperative,” said Wainstein.

Wainstein, a partner with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Cadwalader, Wiskersham, & Taft, did not give specifics or any factual findings – saying he would present a full written report this fall that will be made public.

“Our team is completely independent,” he stressed during his remarks.

UNC President Tom Ross told the board he invited Wainstein to speak in the wake of renewed publicity about the scandal.

Earlier this month, former North Carolina basketball star Rashad McCants went back and forth with Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams during appearances on ESPN’s Outside The Lines.

McCants said his tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class for about half his time at UNC and he remained able to play largely because he took bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible.

Several days later, Williams told ESPN that he was in “shock” and “disbelief” over the McCants allegations, saying the experiences McCants shared did not match what he knows about his players’ academic efforts and records and the basketball program he oversees.

But McCants, in a second appearance on “Outside the Lines,” stood by his allegations and called on all former players from 2004-05 to release their academic transcripts, which would show whether they, too, took bogus African-American studies classes.

A copy of McCants’ university transcript, labeled “unofficial” and obtained by “Outside the Lines,” shows that in his non-African-American studies classes, McCants received six C’s, one D and three F’s. In his African-American studies classes — many of which are referred to as “paper classes” because students did not have to attend them — his grades were 10 A’s, six B’s, one C and one D.

Read full story: WTVD-TV

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