Nine staff members of UNC-Chapel Hill are being terminated or put under review for orchestrating an elaborate system of bogus classes and inflated grades that allowed student athletes to continue playing.

Dan Kane and Jane Stancill at the New Observer report:

Folt: Nine being terminated or under disciplinary review as result of report on UNC academic fraud

A sobering independent investigation into academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill released Wednesday prompted Chancellor Carol Folt to commit to holding accountable all current university staff implicated in the report, including initiating termination against four and disciplinary review for another five.

A system of no-show classes was pushed by academic counselors for athletes, hatched and enabled by two sympathetic officials in a key department and employed by coaches eager to keep players eligible, the report on the new investigation into the long-running scandal said.

The 18-year scheme generated inflated grades through lecture-style classes that had been quietly converted into bogus independent studies. The report, released Wednesday afternoon, found a new culprit: the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes.

Kenneth Wainstein, a former top U.S. Justice Department official, found that the academic counselors had pushed for the easy classes and embraced those started by Deborah Crowder, a longtime manager for the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. The report describes a fairly broad group of academic and athletic officials who knew about athletes getting better grades in classes that required only papers, yet took little or no action.