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3,100 University of North Carolina students implicated in 'shadow curriculum' scandal

A scathing report into a massive academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina has concluded that 3,100 students — about half of them athletes — were involved in a "shadow curriculum" of bogus classes.

Released Wednesday, the 136-page report found that teachers, academic advisers, and members of the athletics department were in on the scam, which ran from 1993 through 2011. Though students never had to attend any of the hundreds of phony classes they enrolled in, they were still ensured good grades. This was particularly beneficial for student-athletes, many of whom were directed into the classes to keep their GPAs high enough so they could remain on their teams.

The shadow program came to light in 2011, but its exact scope was not publicly known until the report's release Wednesday.