The agent for Julius Peppers called the possible leak of his client's college transcript "irresponsible" and defended the Bears defensive end's academic background at the University of North Carolina.
"As his former academic advisor, I know what his academic experience was at the University of North Carolina," said Carl Carey, who was an academic advisor at UNC then became Peppers' agent. "So Julius and I are not concerned at all, with issues about courses or any of that.
"People, unfortunately, are trying to link a decades old transcript to some issues that are going on now and that's irresponsible."
The university said it was investigating how what appears to be a transcript for Peppers surfaced on its website. The link was removed and the university said it wouldn't discuss the student information, which is protected by federal privacy laws.
There were questions because some of Peppers highest grades were in classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. But Carey said that was Peppers' major.
"While Julius was a student at the University of North Carolina, the courses he took were in line with his academic major," Carey said. "And it s legitimate major, and some of the grades he received in some of the African American studies department were satisfactory and others of those were challenging for Julius.
"Anybody who sees his actual record will some success in the major and some challenges. We have no concern at all about the quality of the courses he took."
Carey said Peppers has expressed an interest in completing his degree from North Carolina, at some point, and that he has about a year and a half of study remaining.
But, Carey said he and Peppers are disturbed that very private information might have become public.
"It still hasn't been verified that it is, in fact, his transcript," Carey said. "But, if indeed it is a partial record of his personal academic work, then it is definitely a privacy violation and FERPA issue."
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives states the flexibility to share data to ensure that taxpayer funds are invested wisely in effective programs. But, parents and students trust that the education data is properly safeguarded and used "only for legitimate purposes and only when absolutely necessary," ED.gov.