Julius Peppers Was Bad At School, And Just How Old Is UNC's Academic Scandal?

Whatever North Carolina was doing with Julius Peppers' crappy college transcript, they shouldn't have been doing it via a public webpage. Especially because N.C. State fans are among the ACC's most SEC-ish, and their message boards will surely find you out. For years now, the e-Wolfpack has been on the hunt for Tar Heel academic impropriety, and it has just landed a fine kill.

It's a big deal in light of North Carolina's other and very similar academic shenanigans (Peppers struggled at everything but African and African-American studies classes, which we'd assumed was a more recent thing for UNC). But as it pertains to Peppers himself? Pshhh.

Not only was he one of the last two-sport stars, he went No. 2 in the NFL Draft and proved his home state's NFL team right by winning Rookie of the Year and eventually amassing 100 sacks as a pro. He's richer than anyone you know, and has given money back to UNC in support of black students blessed with talents not like his own. Peppers' life was ultimately made better by college (especially if he gets to sue over this!), so great! Let's please excuse Peppers himself from any emotions we might be feeling about this story at this point.

The only troubling part is that North Carolina might have been doing the same shell game with classes since even before the Butch Davis days. Carl Torbush was Peppers' coach, with John Bunting coming through before Davis. And if this transcript shows anything more than just a decade-early coincidence, it might be a little harder to blame Davis' crew alone for the potpourri classroom disaster that unfolded.

Much more horrifying for UNC faithful, the story could also follow Peppers over to the basketball side. His presence meant almost as much to basketball coaches Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty as it did to the football team, and whether his coaches in either sport knew the particulars of his classwork, both were pushing to keep him eligible.

That's speculation, but if a basketball school deployed an academic scandal strictly for the sake of its mostly limp and accomplishments-free football program, well that's just plain doin' it wrong.

For more on UNC football, visit North Carolina blog Carolina March.

While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel:

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