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University Of North Carolina Football Player Plagiarized An 11-Year-Old, Sets New Hilarious Low For NCAA Athletes

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Oh student-athletes and your complete disregard for the former half of your title.

The University of North Carolina, which found itself in recent trouble for NCAA rules violated by former coach Butch Davis has some more bad news coming from its football program; bad, hilarious trouble.

From the Washington Post:

Senior wide receiver Erik Highsmith committed plagiarism on a blog for a communications class he took last spring, according to the report, and the source material he used just so happened to be a piece on chickens written on an education Web site… by four 11-year-olds.

Four 11-year-olds? Well that’s no so bad. That’s like the equivalent of plagiarizing one 44-year-old, right? No? So, that isn’t how that technically works and this is still wildly embarrassing for Highsmith, North Carolina football, and the NCAA system in general? Fair enough.

And really, Erik Highsmith, how hard is it to write about chickens? This wasn’t even a biology class! The class, which took place in Spring 2011, required, among other things, for Highsmith to keep a blog going throughout the semester. That blog, where the plagiarism occurred, accounted for 30% of Highsmith’s grade.

How much depth could this have required? Especially if Highsmith thought the essay of four 11-year-olds sufficiently covered his bases?

Erik Highsmith, you’re a football player! You can get away with turning in horrible work, as long as it’s your work. You could’ve drawn a cockfight on MS Paint and posted that to the blog, sure that work wouldn’t have even been befitting of an 11-year-old, but at least it would have been from you.

There are only two possible explanations for this:

1) The assignment was incredibly easy and Highsmith didn’t feel like putting in any effort whatsoever, so he copied and pasted some essay about chickens he found after a short google search. NEVER plagiarize the first link you find, dammit! That’s plagiarism 101.

I can see this being a possibility if only because I may or may not have partaken in some similar plagiarism back in my school days. What? Don’t judge me. It was a dumb assignment. Who wants to write a fake press release when you could drink or watch TV or sleep or do literally anything else? If copying and pasting an Atlanta Braves press release and turning it in to your female teacher who you know will never find the source of the release is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Incidentally this was the same class as my “Mummy Whisperer” movie pitch. So, so many dumb assignments in that class.

2) Highsmith is one of the dumbest people attending an American university, a sad quality matched by his laziness and/or arrogance.

I’m leaning heavily towards the latter.

In Highsmith’s case, Beckham said someone at the academic support program told her they would talk to the student, “but after that, I never heard anything.” She has since left the university to teach at a community college in central Virginia.

Love the blatant rug sweeping from the UNC staff. If they do that for their football program, I can only imagine the sort of things high profile basketball players like dumb faced Tyler Hansborough got away with. I like to assume his babysitter handler was wildly overqualified and the pair would have made a lovable sitcom odd couple.


Professor: Mr. Williams, I have a doctorate in behavioral sciences, this work is beneath me.

Roy Williams: Behavioral sciences, huh? Good, then make sure Tyler behaves himself.

Tyler Hansbrough: (*claps hands with wild excitement*) HAHAHA! I’m good! I behave!

Professor: I have a PhD, dammit!

Roy Williams: PhD…that reminds me, don’t let Tyler eat the Play-Doh. He likes to make fake cakes out of it but then he forgets they’re fake and tries to eat them. And they give him a tummy ache, don’t they Ty?

Tyler Hansbrough: Purple cakes give me inside hurts.

Roy Williams: (*whispering to the Professor*) And when he gets a stomach ache he gets very upset and lashes out. He’s unbelievably strong. You ever read Of Mice and Men? Do not let him handle small animals, do not let him pet your hair. The tranquilizer is in the glass case. Practice is at 5pm, we’ll pick him up then. Good luck.

(*Roy Williams leaves*)

Professor: The things I do for tenure…I think I’d rather just blow the president at this point…


Beckham also discovered that another entry from Highsmith lifted passages from an essay on the SAT and GRE prep Web site,

Well at least he started plagiarizing at a high school level.

Essentially this whole hilariously embarrassing scandal reminds me of this:

May God have mercy on your soul, Erik Highsmith.

[College Fix via The Washington Post and News & Observer]

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