So, Eddie Long IS NOT Involved In A Scam? Say It Ain’t So!

***STORY UPDATED BELOW ORGINAL ARTICLE & ORIGINAL POST TITLE AMENDED***

Now I’m beginning to see why Eddie Long donated $1M to his alma mater. In addition to pimping God’s sheep, it appears as though Eddie Long hosted a non-accredited extension of his alma mater at his megachurch, and now the “graduates” of the school have garbage degrees: 

25 students got no-good degrees from New Birth campus

By CHRISTOPHER QUINN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/11/08

Twenty-five students who attended a satellite program of North Carolina Central University at Bishop Eddie Long’s Lithonia megachurch earned bachelor’s degrees that are not recognized by the school’s accrediting agency. A school spokeswoman said 39 other students were in the program earlier this year when it was shut down. Long and the school, in Durham, started the satellite campus four years ago. They closed it in June after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools learned of it, reviewed the program and refused to sanction it. All extension programs have to be approved by SACS for degrees to be recognized.

Tom Benberg, chief of staff at the Commission on Colleges at SACS, said any degrees earned in the program at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, “would not be a degree from an accredited operation.” Long released a statement saying the church has partnered with various education programs to hold classes at the church. “Regrettably, the university did not seek appropriate approvals at that time prior to launching the program. Last month [SACS] denied approval for NCCU to continue the program offerings at the New Birth site.”

What was Eddie and his colleagues trying to do, start their own Friend International Christian University (a/k/a “Pimp U”)?

What a minute…Hmmm…what a coincidence. Eddie announces that he’s “giving” $1M (in direct violation of Matthew 6:1-4) on a Friday, and the newspaper writes this investigative report on a Monday. Of course, Eddie had no idea that this report was coming out – and he gave that money from his heart right?

Right?

Later in the article, we see (my emphasis in bold):

A SACS report said the program did not prove that faculty was qualified or that it had adequate library and learning resources. The program was unable to measure whether students were adequately leaning the subject matters and it did not provide an adequate financial statement from the program.

No financial statements from the program? Yup, that sounds like an Eddie Long “business arrangement” to me.

Click the title to read the article in it’s entirety and pray that the Lord would restore the students who were scammed by their association (even indirectly) with Pimp Long.

Let this be a continued lesson that Eddie Long is a snake pulpit pimp – and he should be avoided at all costs.

***UPDATED 8/12/08 – 9:30AM EST***

The Raleigh News has a more extensive look at this NCCU & New Birth deal, and the details seem to support Long’s claim of ignorance relating to the accreditation for NCCU’s extension at his church:

NCCU operated Atlanta campus

UNC system never approved branch run near Atlanta

Eric Ferreri, Staff Writer

DURHAM – For four years, N.C. Central University operated a small satellite campus at a suburban Atlanta megachurch run by a university trustee, offering a series of programs that were never properly approved by university system officials.

The program folded this summer after running afoul of the university’s accrediting agency, and campus officials are now trying to figure out how to take care of about 50 students whose college careers have been interrupted.

With the demise of the small campus, dubbed the New L.I.F.E. College Program and housed at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., questions arise why a North Carolina public university created an out-of-state branch campus 400 miles away.

“I can think of no justifiable reason why the former NCCU leadership would have completely ignored and failed to abide by the appropriate approval process in creating this program,” UNC system President Erskine Bowles said late last week in a statement e-mailed to The News & Observer. “Such action is contrary to all university policy. To say the least, it is very disappointing. We are working closely with Chancellor [Charlie] Nelms and his new leadership team to examine the various academic, legal, and financial questions associated with this Georgia-based program.”

So, the state university system is trying to rectify the situation. Click the title to read the article in entirety, and you’ll see how the former Chancellor (James Ammons, who is now running things over at Florida A&M) isn’t responding to inquiries – and is hiding. The article also states that the degrees earned through New Birth’s extension of NCCU are valid and will be recognized. That’s good news for the students who earned them.

Also, it looks like Pimp Eddie has some cover on this one:

Long’s role in the creation of the NCCU campus at his church is not clear. It is not clear whether NCCU’s Board of Trustees was ever told about or voted to approve the New Birth program. There is no mention of the program in the minutes of any trustee meeting in 2003 or 2004.

Kay Thomas, the board’s current chairwoman, said recently she has no recollection of being briefed or voting on the program, but added that her board doesn’t routinely approve specific distance education programs.

“I see no problem with it,” Thomas said. “The idea is to get people certified for jobs, even if they’re not North Carolinians.”

Also, we learn through the article that the faculty had reservations about the extension program, but it was pushed through anyway:

A UNC-system official said the program should have been vetted.

“It should have been presented to the [UNC system's] Board of Governors as a distance learning program,” said Alan Mabe, the UNC system’s vice president for academic planning and university-school programs. “We don’t have any records of it being presented.”

It was discussed, at least briefly, by NCCU’s Faculty Senate. The debate was contentious, recalled Kofi Amoateng, a finance professor who headed the faculty in 2004.

“It was not an easy approval; it was a close fight,” he said of a faculty vote on the program, adding that the relationship NCCU would have with a church gave some faculty members pause. “I was not very happy. We never thought it through. We needed time to study, but it got pushed through.”

We also learn that New Birth (and Eddie Long) didn’t make a lot (if any) money on the deal:

It doesn’t appear that the church reaped any windfall. Students paid $888.57 per three-credit course, which was more than the going rate for an in-state student at NCCU but less than a nonresident would traditionally pay, Phifer-McGhee said.

From those revenues, NCCU paid the church $120 per student per course taught, Phifer-McGhee said. UNC system officials confirmed that is the proper way to administer an out-of-state program. The church provided classrooms, equipment, offices and administrative support, helped recruit students and instructors and, on occasion, videotaped courses and sent them to NCCU for evaluation, according to the 2006 memorandum between NCCU and the church.

So what we have is a perfect storm of inept university administrators, a program held together with toothpicks and bubble gum, and an ego-driven “bishop” who is determined to make his church the “spiritual epicenter of the world” (I’ve heard him say that on many occasion when I was a member of Club New Birth).

So I concede the point on this story – Pimp Eddie gets a pass because he wasn’t (apparently) trying to scam anyone. His reputation as a scripture-twisting pimp does make him suspect in most things that he is involved with, however, and he should still be avoided.

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24 Responses to “So, Eddie Long <b>IS NOT</b> Involved In A Scam? Say It Ain’t So!”


  1. 1 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Brother, while we agree Eddie Long is a pimp nobody should go near, not even for a class, he didn’t make any money really on this deal and it was not a real money maker. Please see this article: NCCU operated Atlanta campus

    It has way more details than the AJC story. The only difference is that the AJC found out the degrees are invalid.

    I figure Fast Eddie probably did announce his donation to try and smother this news though. But really, this shows the terrible job former NCCU staff was doing, I feel for those folks at FAMU. Eddie is a NCCU trustee and got some favorable treatment, but he really didn’t make big money off this and his knowledge of the details of the management of this are uncertain. He claims he didn’t know the details and it was NCCU’s responsibility. Given no evidence refutes his claim and James Ammons seems to be hiding, Eddie’s word has to be accepted on this one.

  2. 2 Douglas K. Adu-Boahen August 12, 2008 at 6:48 am

    If he has said that the school wasn’t accredited, that would be one thing (even sound Bible colleges offer free, unaccredited diplomas to willing students), but to lie to the students that they would get a full degree only to get none…and then try to do a cover-up with a “generous” donation.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this Londoner smells a rat all the way down in Lithonia, Georgia :roll:

  3. 3 speaking truth August 12, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for the additional information IC. You’re right, the North Carolina gave far more details than the AJC, and I’m adding the additional information to update the story (above).

    All in all, I stll think that this is a direct result of Eddie’s insatiable ego and desire for attention. You and I have both heard him say (with our own ears) that he wanted New Birth to be the epicenter of Dekalb County, the State of Georgia, the USA, and the world. Remember how he used to crow that “eventually, if you’re running for office anywhere, you’ve got to stop by New Birth!”?

    You’re right – it appears as though this wasn’t a money grab (at least for Long), and the University is trying to do right by the students. But the program was “greased through the system” because of Long’s desire to plant it, and the crooked former Chancellors relationship with Long.

    I’ll give Eddie the benefit of the doubt on this one…for now.

    Thanks for the gentle rebuke.

  4. 4 speaking truth August 12, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Doug,

    While I still believe that Eddie Long is a Pimp, see IC’s comment above yours and the updated article as well.

    Eddie appears to be innocent here, but his reputation precedes him most of the time…

  5. 5 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 9:54 am

    The degrees are NOT legit. The AJC is right on that, because if SACS says the degree is not good, it’s not going to go very far.

    I mean they have “NCCU” degrees, but any employers that checks the validity of the degrees with find out they are not from an accredited program.

    So it depends on who someone with one of those degrees presents the degree to and how much the employer (assuming the degree is shown to an employer) checks into whether the program had accreditation.

  6. 6 speaking truth August 12, 2008 at 10:04 am

    IC,

    The NC paper says:

    NCCU remains accredited, so the degrees that about 25 New Birth students have received since 2004 are valid, NCCU officials say.

    So the school says that the degrees earned at Club New Birth are “valid” – does that mean that they are “real” degrees but just not accredited? Does it mean that the degrees would hold up for refernce purposes when the students seek work?

    I don’t know if it’s a game of semantics or what, but the more i learn, the more confused I get. Yet more evidence that this whole episode is a hot mess.

  7. 7 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Yea I think we both heard Eddie Long speak about his club as if the universe spun around it.

    But I’m not holding Long at fault on this one. Although his ego is tied to all he does, I’m going to leave it at him seeking to provide advanced education opportunities.

    Really me knowing Long was not the one that messed this one up, I’m not calling Long out at all on this. I hate to say it, but really the error that could be attributed to Long on this, is that he tried to get this via the messed up old NCCU staff instead of a better bunch at another school. But then he would be stabbing the school that helped him when others would not in the back.

    I’m not speaking a single word against Long on this one. James Ammons was the one who totally dropped the ball and James Ammons is so typical of the bad that is at some schools, too many of them “HBCUs”.

  8. 8 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 10:15 am

    ST, think of those degrees as “honorary” degrees from NCCU. Yes they have NCCU degrees, no they won’t get the job if anybody checks and wants to hire someone with a degree from an accredited program.

    Basically, if these people get into an interview with a small shop where they can plead their case, that they did all the class work, but people like James Ammons messed up, they “might” be able to get a job, but their career future is not looking very good.

  9. 9 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 10:18 am

    My brother in-law had to deal with this and he ended up going back to school because he could not get hired in his field.

  10. 10 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Well when I say “My brother in-law had to deal with this…” I don’t mean this particular program, but he earned a degree from Tennessee State University in a program that did not get accredited. He knew the program was not “yet” accredited going in, but he was assured that since it was a new program, they would have accreditation soon. It never happened. That was in a very “peculiar” program. The degrees in the Club New Birth deal were much more general and already accredited at NCCU’s Carolina campus.

  11. 11 speaking truth August 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

    All in all we agree on the main point ICEddie isn’t responsible for this mess at all. My opinion is just that because of his reputation (and his past dealings), you can’t help but assume he’s guilty until proven innocent.

    Not very diplomatic, I know – but I’m just being real. It’s almost like the boy who cried wolf – no one believed him when the wolf really showed up (no pun intended in this case).

  12. 12 Cop August 12, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Is it me or does anybody else think this looks like a cover up gone bad?

    He just gave a million to the school a few days ago, Did he think that would keep them quite on the school scam?

    Would he have given that million had nothing come out about the school at the church?

    Something doesnt smell right, and its not just Eddie Longs past dealings that I am smelling.

  13. 13 Douglas K. Adu-Boahen August 12, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Yup, I think, on this occasion, I owe Mr. Long an apology. I retract my previous statement…

  14. 14 speaking truth August 12, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Don’t worry Doug – I owe Eddie an apology on this one too, and I’ve edited the title to reflect the change.

    Crow doesn’t taste good when it’s served uncooked :-|

  15. 15 Douglas K. Adu-Boahen August 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I agree.

  16. 16 Independent Conservative August 12, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    As I mentioned on Lynn’s blog, if Eddie was doing something shady on this one, there are a million reasons why we’ll probably never hear about it.

  17. 17 speaking truth August 12, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    A million (specifically $1M) reasons indeed…

  18. 19 HiScrivener August 13, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    You know what?

    Despite the overlap and IC lovingly nudging you in the right direction, this is what reporting should be – clamoring with passion, exposing with vigor, and laughing all the way.

    Nicely done. And do you realize the “Chitlin Circuit” passes around the same account executive’s business card from “Pimp U” (genius)? They must because they seem to all have a [COUGH] free-grees from there.

    Oh, that chaps my hide when I can spend years in post-grad college and countless more hours writing a REAL PH.D. DISSERTATION, these fools can get a degree quicker than well… Todd Bentley can raise the dead.

  19. 20 Independent Conservative August 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Latest article:
    Former NCCU chancellor shoulders blame

    Eddie Long may not be directly to blame, but everything that gets near Eddie Long seems to fall apart!

  20. 21 speaking truth August 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    That was my overall point from the very beginning, IC – everytime Eddie’s hands get into something it’s a good chance that there is something fishy going on.

    That’s why I said Eddie’s reputation proceeds itself – and it sets him up to have to prove his innocents quicker than the average Joe because Eddie is a bona fide, certified pimp.

  21. 22 anointedvessel August 15, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Hey I wanted to go there and get my Docterin. I wanted to get my Docterin in tongue talking and slaying people in the spert. I would have been so deep I would have sounded just like a real sheep. Bleeeeeeet….All jokes aside gentleman, why is having a bunch of letters behind your name such a big deal anyway? Since when did a secular title mean more than a sacred office? I got suspicious when prophetess Bynum when to Dr. Bynum overnight? After 8 yrs of college myself to get a flimsy sheet of paper I know good and well she couldn’t have gone through the proper training and internship to have her Doctorate in anything! What a crock! These clowns need to go somewher e and sit down!
    ~Anointed

  22. 23 anointedvessel August 15, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    haha you’d think with college under my belt I would know how to spell, apparently I can but mi spil cheque wuz brocen en that last posst.
    ~Anointed

  23. 24 sandrar September 10, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.


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