North Carolina football player gets busted plagiarizing 11-year olds

In yet another example of collegiate student athletes forgetting that the “student” comes before the “athlete,” North Carolina wide receiver Erik Highsmith recently got busted for plagiarism.  While that would generally be a bad enough offense on its own, the details of his cheating made it exponentially worse.

Reportedly, Highsmith was required to keep a blog for his communications class that would count for a significant percentage of his grade. Rather than putting in the time and effort himself, Highsmith did admittedly what many of us students have done in the past – browse the Internet for help.

But instead of paraphrasing his online source, an Oracle ThinkQuest article about poultry farming, he copied the entry nearly word for word. Why is this so embarrassing, you ask? Because said entry was written by…wait for it…wait for it…four 11-year olds who wrote it for their fifth grade class.

A sample of the ThinkQuest post:

Poultry farming is raising chickens, turkeys, ducks and other fowl for meat or eggs. Poultry farms can be: 1. Breeding farms where they raise poultry for meat, or 2. Layer farms where they produce eggs.
The ‘best’ breeds depend on what you want from them. Good egg layers are Rhode Island Reds [brown eggs] and Leghorns [white eggs].

A sample of Highsmith’s post (via SportsGrid):

Poultry farming is raising of turkeys, ducks, chicken and other fowl for meat or eggs. Poultry farms can be breeding farms where they raise poultry for meat, or layer farms where they produce eggs. The ‘best’ breeds depend on what you want from them. Good egg layers are Rhode Island Reds [brown eggs] and Leghorns [white eggs].

To be fair, that was some pretty solid fifth grade writing. Props to those 11-year olds, they’re going places with that intelligence. Highsmith? Not so much. At least he made the effort to remove the numbers?

Hightower now joins Ohio State’s Cardale Smith as an All-American dumbass.

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Pete Blackburn
Founder & lead editor of The Nosebleeds. Journalism graduate of Endicott College, Class of 2013. Boston born & raised. Lover of sports, binge television watching, music that doesn't suck & everything '90s. Not a tall drink of water. Follow @PeteBlackburn 
  • http://Enteryourwebsite... phil in st pete

    “Hightower now joins Ohio State’s Cardale Smith as an All-American dumbass.”

    You must be All-World

  • You’re dumb

    I’m sure Cardale Jones worded his comment incorrectly and just like any other student who has failed to be schooled properly Highsmith doesn’t know how to paraphrase.

  • http://Enteryourwebsite... J

    I’m sorry, but the previous two posters are idiots. Phil: That sentence is perfectly grammatically correct. You’re dumb: Yes, you are. Even if you paraphrase something, you MUST cite your source. And there is absolutely no possible way he made it so far without learning MLA, APA, etc. It’s Composition 101. You are clearly an inbred UNC fan making excuses.

  • http://Enteryourwebsite... Rick Washington

    haha i guess he’s not smarter than a 5th grader after all