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3,100 students were involved in a ‘shadow curriculum’: UNC cheating probe

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CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 04:  A general view of the Bell Tower on the campus of the North Carolina Tar Heels before their game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Kenan Stadium on October 4, 2014 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHAPEL HILL, NC – OCTOBER 04: A general view of the Bell Tower on the campus of the North Carolina Tar Heels before their game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Kenan Stadium on October 4, 2014 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — An academic fraud investigation at the University of North Carolina has found that more than 3,100 students were involved in a “shadow” curriculum” that occurred over nearly two decades.

The investigation reveals a wider scope of academic fraud than previous probes by the school and the NCAA. The investigation found that the students — nearly half of them athletes — took classes that they didn’t have to show up for and required only a research paper that was often given an A or B regardless of the quality of work.

Former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein released his findings Wednesday.

The NCAA reopened an academic-misconduct probe at UNC in June because new information was available. The new investigation said it was done in cooperation with the NCAA.