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Nov 11, 2014 12:23 PM EST

Tydreke Powell, Former UNC Football Player, Says Coaches Knew About Paper Classes

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A former football player at the University of North Carolina (UNC) - Chapel Hill has come forth with allegations that the school's basketball and football coaches knew about the fraudulent "paper classes."

Appearing on the 102 Jamz radio show in N.C., Tydreke Powell, a defensive lineman who played under coach Butch Davis, originally was not named in the interview. The radio station confirmed who the former Tar Heel was later in a tweet.

"Butch Davis came into a meeting one day and he said, 'if ya'll came here for an education, you should've went to Harvard,'" Powell said. "When somebody says that, what are we supposed to do? That's our leader, man. It ain't that we go in there and be like 'we want to take African American studies.' How did we know about it? They put it on the table for us, you can do this, do that."

He went on to call Tar Heels head basketball coach Roy Williams "a snake" and quipped, "You know he known, man." Williams recently told ESPN he was "worried sick" about the potential fallout from the Kenneth Wainstein Report, uncovering the widespread paper classes in the African and Afro-American Studies department.

"If you dropped a class with a basketball player, you were just ignorant," Powell said. "One thing about Carolina, man, if you ain't got a class with a basketball player, you [better] go find one. If you got one with [them], you know it's an A."

He told the radio station there was one class he took where a basketball player and classmate only attended on the days of a test. However, another student would take the test for the basketball player.

Powell indicated that the reason for his testimony was to shift the blame away from the players who were steered toward these paper classes toward those that did the steering. Wainstein's report had indicated that coaches may not have known about the paper classes, that it was academic advisers who put them in front of their students.

"That's how it is, man, you know what I'm saying? People just look from the outside and go oh, well these kids - no, man. It's the coaches that are telling us stuff," Powell said. "What are we supposed to do? We're away from our parents, we're looking up to this guy. When they come in your house and living room and they got those Super Bowl rings on, the last thing you're thinking about is a class."

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