GOP Senate Candidate Herschel Walker Accused Of Exaggerating His Academic Achievements For Years

    For some time now, GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker has continued to claim an inspiring story: that he graduated in the top 1% of his class at the University of Georgia.

    He’s told his “story” while giving motivational speeches over the years and has repeated it as recently as 2017, according to a review of his speeches by CNN’s KFile.

    There’s just one problem: apparently, it is not true.

    Walker, who is a candidate in the Republican primary race for US Senate in Georgia, admitted that he did not graduate from Georgia following a report by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that the false claim was listed on his campaign website.

    But a CNN KFile review confirmed that Walker himself has been repeating the false claim for years. Walker’s comments from 2017, and many others made over the years, the show concluded that the former football star has repeatedly misrepresented his academic credentials.

    “And all of sudden I started going to the library, getting books, standing in front of a mirror reading to myself,” Walker said during a 2017 speech. “So that Herschel that all the kids said was retarded become valedictorian of his class. Graduated University of Georgia in the top 1% of his class.”

    He also claimed during another interview in 2017.

    “I also was in the top 1% of my graduating class of college,” he told Sirius XM radio.

    Walker did not graduate from Georgia, however, he was a star running back while. And apparently, he had maintained a B average while at the school, which doesn’t place him In the top 1% either.

    Walker himself even told The Chicago Tribune in 1985 that he maintained a 3.0 before his grades began to drop. He then left to play professional football before graduating. Although he repeatedly said he would return to obtain his degree, he never did.

    Walker is endorsed by former President Donald Trump and is expected to run against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock this coming November.

    Walker’s site has been revised site, and a review by CNN’s KFile found another little-noticed claim that was removed. There was a claim that Walker graduated valedictorian of his high school, but the website now claims Walker graduated “top of his class.”

    While claims that Walker was a top student while in high school and was the president of the Beta Club — which he maintained an “A” average to be in — CNN’s KFile found no evidence that he was the class valedictorian.

    Walker has mentioned many times during his speeches over the years, including in the 2017 speech, claiming he graduated in the top 1% of his college class, and in his 2008 autobiography, he claimed he was class valedictorian at Johnson County High School.

    “If I’m proud of anything I did in my high school career, it’s what I did in the classroom that I reflect on and relish the most. I did more than just shed the “stupid” label placed on me as a result of my speech impediment. I shed it, erased it, and rewrote it with the titles: Beta Club president and class valedictorian,” wrote Walker in his 2008 “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder.”

    CNN’s KFile reviewed Walker’s high school yearbooks and coverage of him in local newspapers at the time.

    Walker’s campaign did not explain why it removed the claim that Walker was valedictorian from his website. When repeatedly asked if the campaign still backs the since-removed valedictorian claim from the website, Walker’s campaign manager Scott Paradise sent the same statement three times.

    “Multiple reporters wrote about this 40 years ago. If you have a problem with what they wrote, please contact them. If you have a difficult time getting in touch with them, ask yourself why you are asking such a stupid question,” said Paradise to CNN.

    It is unknown when Walker started saying he graduated from Georgia, however, press accounts began listing him as returning to get his degree as early as 1983, which was after he left to join the United States Football League. Walker joined the New Jersey Generals, which at the time was owned by then-businessman Trump.

    In the past, Walker repeatedly told interviewers he had gone back to Georgia during the off-season to take classes. There is a 1986 article in The Dallas Morning News on Walker’s football career that stated he obtained his degree in criminal justice and also has a quote from him talking about his degree.

    “Getting a degree is one of the paths you can take on the way to becoming an FBI man,” Walker said. “Of course, my life is not going in that direction right now, but I think police work, especially the FBI, would be my choice if I wasn’t a pro football player.”

    Following his book release, Walker told a YouTube show interview in 2008, and told the interviewer he went back to get his college degree from the University of Georgia

    “You know it was said whether I leave or stay in school. It came up that I leave — and what was weird about that is people said, ‘Why would you leave college so early?’ And that’s like guys, ‘I went back to get my degree which is what you’re supposed to do.’”


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