I used to hate when one of my professors repeatedly called on a particular football player to answer accounting problems because he constantly stumbled over numbers above 999. In other words, any numerals with commas in them. I was convinced he was on campus for the touchdowns and not the t-accounts, and there was no way he earned above a “C” in the class.

But I’m beginning to think I might be wrong on the last part.

Last week, an image of a final paper written by a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill athlete circulated the Twitterverse. It read:

“On the evening of December Rosa Parks decided that she was going to sit in the white people section on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. During this time blacks had to give up there seats to whites when more whites got on the bus. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Her and the bus driver began to talk and the conversation went like this. ‘Let me have those front seats’ said the driver. She didn’t get up and told the driver that she was tired of giving her seat to white people. ‘I’m going to have you arrested,’ said the driver. ‘You may do that,” Rosa Parks responded. Two white policemen came in and Rosa Parks asked them “why do you all push us around?’ The police officer replied and said ‘I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.’”

And that’s not an excerpt, but supposedly the whole unedited essay. The student earned an “A-” for the semester. (Prior reports that the paragraph, er paper, itself earned an “A-” are inaccurate.)

This Rosa Parks story fuels accusations that 60 percent of the UNC basketball and football players read at fourth- to eighth-grade levels, and athletes are often enrolled in fake or no-show classes to maintain decent grades to continue to play. (Never mind these student athletes leave with degrees but no supporting education.) UNC denies the allegations. Easy “A” or not, we can agree this isn’t college-level writing. Or at least it doesn’t look like any undergrad paper I had to write. Either this student athlete needs remedial classwork, or some little fourth-grader earned a quick buck and infamous notoriety for a college course.

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