1. In what ways was incrementalism involved in the case of academic fraud at UNC? Explain.
2. Faculty, staff, and students were all implicated in academic fraud at UNC. Why might faculty and staff knowingly teach or encourage students to take these “paper” courses? Why might students take these classes? How could making an exception for a few student athletes turn into the slippery slope that led to academic fraud?
3. Once UNC created a “paper” course for one or two student-athletes, would it be difficult to say “no” to other student athletes who wished to take similar courses and had similar needs? Explain your reasoning.
4. Once UNC has created a system of “paper” courses for student-athletes, would it be difficult to say “no” to non-athletes who wished to take similar courses?
5. If, before this scheme ever started, an athletics coach had come to Nyang’oro and Crowder and said: “I’d like you to create a system of hundreds of fake courses for student-athletes and non-athletes,” do you think that they would have done it? Explain.
6. Richard Southall discussed the unrealistic feasibility that a student athlete achieves academic success while having a “full-time job as a football or basketball player.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
7. What responsibilities do major universities have to student athletes in the balance between academics and athletics? Explain your thoughts. How can universities support both academic and athletic success?
8. Have you been aware of academic fraud happening at your own institution? What happened and how did the institution to respond?
9. Most accounting and securities frauds start relatively small and then grow larger and larger over time. Can you draw parallels between that process and what happened here?
10. Accountant Scott London of KPMG described an insider trading scheme he had with a friend, saying: “Once it happened and it worked, then it became easier for both of us. Once I saw that nothing was happening, my standards became lower.” Do you think that might have been the case also at UNC? Explain.
11. In describing his job, an executioner at a state penitentiary described “desensitization through routinization”: “No matter what it is, it gets easier over time. The job just gets easier.” Do you think that was the case with the UNC staff members here? Discuss.