Leak of Peppers’ transcript may be more trouble for UNC

An academic transcript that was made public and may have belonged to former North Carolina football and basketball player Julius Peppers may cause problems for the university, the Charlotte News & Observer reported Monday.

UNC officials first claimed the 2001 academic transcript published by The News & Observer on Saturday was fake, but now admit it may have been authentic, and it may have belonged to Peppers.

On Sunday night, a PackPride bulletin board for North Carolina State supporters noted a link that shows what appears to be a partial transcript of Peppers’ on UNC’s website.

University officials would admit only that the transcript appears to be of a “former student” but claimed it could not comment further because federal confidentiality laws.

“Student academic records should never be accessible to the public, and the university is investigating reports of what appears to be a former student transcript on the university’s web site,” the university said in a statement issued Monday, “The university has removed that link from the web site. University officials are prohibited from discussing confidential student information.”

If the transcripts are authentic, it could point to more issues in an ongoing investigation of an academic scandal. It is unclear whether bogus classes predominantly taken by athletes were established, helping them retain academic eligibility to play sports. If Peppers is involved, it would suggest that practice has gone on for longer than the university has confirmed. To this point, the issue centered only on football players.

A review of the Peppers transcripts and the test transcript shows a match for all but two classes, according to the News & Observer: The Peppers transcript shows an incomplete for a Black Nationalism class, and the test transcript shows the student receiving a B-plus. The test transcript indicates an A for an African American Seminar class, although the Peppers transcript only indicates he was registered for the class.

If accurate, the information could indicate academic fraud goes back longer than the university officials have confirmed to this point. Plus, the university may in trouble for allowing transcripts to become public.

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