Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsay, two former student-athletes from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, filed a lawsuit last Thursday against their alma mater and the NCAA because they contend that they were veered away from “academically sound classes” and did not receive “legitimate educational instruction,” USA Today reports.
McCants, a former member of the women’s basketball team, and Ramsay, a former football player, are hoping that the suit becomes a class action—meaning, they’re inviting other Tar Heel student-athletes, past and present, to join them in condemning the “academic fraud” they were subjected to.
The suit is tied to the academic scandal that has plagued Chapel Hill in recent months. The school was accused of enrolling its student-athletes in ghost classes that didn’t really exist. In October the school promised to launch several initiatives to correct for the “academic irregularities” an independent investigation found student-athletes were exposed to, Fox 8 reported.
McCants and Ramsay’s complaint argues that the NCAA was well-aware of the academic foul play taking place in several of its member schools’ athletic programs. It also argues that the NCAA did not adequately monitor whether schools were upholding the academic standards set for them.
Student-athletes who attended Chapel Hill on an athletic scholarship between 1989 and 2011 and were steered toward enrolling in African, African-American studies and Swahili classes are welcome to join the suit. Those courses are targeted because the independent investigation found that administrators within those departments were “responsible for offering hundreds of irregular classes at UNC-Chapel Hill between 1993 and 2011,” Fox 8 reported.
With regard to how the former student-athletes are hoping to be compensated, their lead attorney, Michael Hausfeld, told USA Today that his clients want the level of education that was promised to them in exchange for their involvement in the school’s athletic teams. They feel that they are also entitled to “whatever earning power they lost as a result of the education that they were directed into,” USA Today reports.
The newspaper notes that representatives for both the NCAA and UNC did not return email requests for comments.