Posted by: Dr. Grover B. Proctor, Jr. | 27 July 2017

Rameses Agonistes


 
Anyone who has known me for more than 15 minutes knows how much of a “bleed-Carolina-blue” Tar Heel fan I have always been. I expect always to be.

Rameses Agonistes

Rameses Agonistes
(Rameses in inner turmoil)

That having been said, I have been from the beginning one of the most vocal critics of my beloved alma mater over (a) their scandalous academic behavior and (b) their scandalous deny-deny-deny, sweep-scandal-under-the-rug behavior. I find it rotten to the core.

A cousin of mine drew my attention today to a CBS article by renowned sports commentator John Feinstein. Sadly, I find a huge amount in it with which I agree. (Click to read his entire article.)

As much as I understand and sympathize with his broader message, I should point out that I saw immediately that he got at least a couple of little things wrong:

First, the dates of the upcoming NCAA hearing are August 16-17, not Aug. 14 as he says.

Second — and this is far more important — it was not something called the “North Carolina Accrediting Agency for academic institutions” which put UNC on accreditation probation, as asserted in the article. No such agency exists. Carolina was put on a year’s accreditation probation (“usually, but not necessarily, the last step before an institution is removed from” accreditation) by SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is from SACS (and SACS alone) that Carolina receives “national” accreditation that covers the entire institution. Without it, no Federal financial aid would be possible for any student attending. Let that sink in!

Back to Feinstein: it’s catching these two “little” but important mistakes which makes me wonder what else he may have gotten wrong.

What he definitely got right is how Carolina got itself into this mess in the first place. If you’ve been living on Mars, or otherwise distracted, the last 2 decades, here’s his summary:


 
         The basic premise of the investigation is this: During a period that might have been as long as 18 years (!!) dating from 1993, numerous Carolina athletes were involved in sham classes in the African and Afro-American studies department.
         In all, according to reporting done by the Raleigh
News & Observer and an independent report sanctioned by UNC, about 3,100 students participated in the sham classes. Roughly half were scholarship athletes and many – most – were either football or basketball players.
         The classes, according to the reports, never met and the work required was absolutely minimal – if there was any work done at all.


 

All that said, I feel torn down to my Carolina-blue-blood between, on the one hand, my intense anger at UNC’s egregious academic sins coupled with my sense of justice which demands punishment for those sins — and, on the other hand, my love for and admiration of the Carolina student-athletes who will likely suffer a great deal of the blowback from whatever judicial sanction bomb the NCAA explodes in Chapel Hill. It was not the athletes’ fault that the school offered those fake classes, nor that their athletic staff pushed them to take them.

Feinstein closes by saying, “The only question is whether academic fraud took place. The athletic director says it did. Which is why Carolina’s punishment must be harsh for the NCAA to retain what little credibility it has left.

I wonder what will happen.

 

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Responses

  1. There is a lot of lying going on in this matter ….. on both sides! It has always been my understanding that a paper had to be turned in and, in fact, was required. Moreover, I have understood that NCAA has jurisdiction over athletics only and not academics.

    Why is NCAA taking so long to rule? I suggest it is because it still cannot distinguish between the two …. athletics sand academics. And why should
    it? After all, aren’t they just a bunch of stupid jocks which does not know where academics begin and jockstraps end …. some say where the sun don’t shine! Which is exactly where the NCAA should go!!!!!!!


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