CHAPEL HILL Julius Peppers donated $250,000 to a University of North Carolina scholarship fund that supports African-American students, the school announced Monday.
The donation came almost one week after the posting of his transcript on a UNC website became a national story. The transcript showed that Peppers, who played football at North Carolina from 1999 through 2001, was barely academically eligible throughout his time there.
In a statement he released Saturday, Peppers described the past week as upsetting and challenging and said Im terribly disappointed that his academic record became public. He said he was thinking of ways that I can use my experience and resources to help students.
His $250,000 donation will go into the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship fund, which supports African-American students at North Carolina. He made a $100,000 donation to the same fund in 2009.
After considering the ways that I might be able to help young college students, I decided to continue my support of the Light on the Hill scholarship, Peppers said in a statement the university released Monday. I would like to endorse this particular fund and encourage other former UNC students who have found success to reach back and assist the efforts of current and future Tar Heels.
Peppers, an African and Afro-American Studies major, left school after the 2001 football season. He never graduated, and his transcript revealed that his grades in AFAM courses helped him retain eligibility to play football. He also played two seasons on the basketball team, and helped the Tar Heels to the 2000 Final Four.
Richard Williams, the chair of the Light on the Hill Society board, praised Peppers.
This gift is indicative of the kind of man Julius Peppers has become, Williams said in a statement. I am very proud that he credits his experiences at Chapel Hill for helping to shape him. He has really thought deeply about his life, opportunities taken, opportunities lost, his legacy.
With this generous gift he wants to help young people make good decisions during their college years.