The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday September 25th

Unc Athletics And Student Athletes


A SpotterEDU device sits at the front of the room in Hanes 117 as a student writes on the blackboard underneath on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2019.

How UNC got the tech to track men's basketball, football players' class attendance

Emails and financial agreements received by the DTH through multiple public records requests reveal details of the lead-up to and implementation at UNC of SpotterEDU. The technology, developed and operated by a Chicago-based consulting firm, tracks the class attendance of student-athletes through beacon devices with an automatic Bluetooth connection to their smartphones.  Early last month, the DTH reported the existence of the new program at UNC. While the University declined at the time to state which sports it is using the new technology for, new documents suggest that SpotterEDU has been applied only to select players from the football and men's basketball teams.

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UNC tracking student-athlete class attendance through third-party beacon tech

As an attempt to make sure the athletics attendance policy is being upheld by student-athletes, new beacon technology has been installed in classrooms throughout the University. The purpose of the beacons are to communicate with mobile devices to ensure that the athletes are attending class and in class for the duration of the period.  Though the technology is promised by its distributing organization to be non-invasive and that the software lacks tracking capabilities outside of the classroom; some UNC professors are concerned that the technology poses a privacy threat and surveils student-athletes, with the potential to spread into further supervision of student whereabouts. 

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