The University of North Carolina football program has come upon some trying times. Apparently, that trying is not as hard on the field as it is in the classroom.
Already being investigated for numerous academic issues that have run rampant throughout the football team and athletics program in general, here is the kicker. While, it is actually from a wide receiver, but you get where this is going.
That is, if you have read any of the stories about Tar Heels wide receiver, Eric Highsmith.
The senior wide receiver is believed to have been caught cheating. It is reported that he was caught plagiarizing one of his assignments as Chapel Hill.
Sounds bad, right? That is just the beginning.
Highsmith was found to have plagiarized an assignment in where he was to post a blog for the class. It was about poultry and farming and pets. And before you ask, the answer is yes, the University of North Carolina is an institution of higher learning. Despite what the content for this class may indicate, the academic reputation enjoyed by North Carolina is elite.
Just not when it comes to Highsmith and many other members of the football team.
That is because the assignment that Highsmith is accused of copying from originated from 11-year-olds. No, that is not a typo. Those are a pair of ones side by side for the number 11.
For those unfamiliar to ages and grades, that is about the equivalent of a fifth grade student. A college senior was supposedly caught plagiarizing and assignment from a fifth grader.
Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.
The instructor was the one who noticed the plagiarism. Maybe because he studies up on poultry and farming and pets. Maybe because he knows the kid who wrote the original post. Maybe because the quality was much better than he had ever seen from Highsmith. I don’t know.
UNC is serving a one year ban from bowl games for academic fraud under former head coach, Butch Davis. This will not help restore the image of the university.
It will not help Highsmth, either. He is a senior, so this is his last year at UNC regardless.
Unless he can gain another year of eligibility after he explains just how badly he needs to remain in college.
It would be unprecedented but, if there were ever a time to grant a player an extra year of eligibility unrelated to an injury, the time is now.
In 2012, Highsmith has 39 catches for 395 yards and 2 touchdowns.
I wonder if he could figure out his yards per catch average?
I bet a fifth grader could.
Perhaps Highsmith could be a contestant on that game show some day.
Are you smarter than a fifth grader?
I know which side I am betting.