The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

January 7, 2013

UNC report avoids main questions of scandal

Monday, January 7, 2013 — RALEIGH – To conclude that former Gov. Jim Martin’s review of the athletic and academic scandal that has enveloped the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was a meaningless exercise would be unfair.  

Unfortunately, many people will come to that conclusion because the report from Martin and the management consulting firm Baker-Tilly fails to answer critical questions raised by revelations regarding student-athletes enrolled in bogus or questionable courses at the school.

The real value of the 77-page report resides in findings that show, in detail, how bogus lecture courses and questionable independent study courses offered by the university’s African and Afro-American Studies Department spiked from 2003 until 2008, while going back as far as 1997.

That is the report’s strength.

The weaknesses include a sweeping conclusion that the scandal is “isolated” and is academic in its origins and not athletic.

How Martin et al could reach that conclusion without answering the most basic question facing the university, the one that all those associated with UNC-Chapel Hill appear willing to go to any lengths to avoid, is a mystery.

That basic question: Who was responsible for steering athletes to these courses?

To come to the conclusion that the Martin report reaches, one has to believe that two people, a professor and his departmental administrator, invented the scheme out of whole cloth and without intending to benefit athletes.

One also must believe that football and basketball players found out about the courses through osmosis.

The evidence from investigative reporters Dan Kane and Andy Curliss of The News & Observer of Raleigh establishes an open-and-shut case that it simply didn’t happen that way.

Former UNC football player Marvin Austin was enrolled in a questionable, upper-level course in the summer before beginning his first full semester as a freshman. How did he know to do that, and who arranged it?

Eighteen football players and a former player filled up a bogus summer course within four days of its creation. So, we are to believe that the good professor called the players, without ever speaking to anyone in academic advising or the athletics department?

And how about that naval weapons course, attended by six basketball players just as an adjunct professor eased up on the course requirements?

The Martin report’s explanation of that course is that departmental administrators were looking to counter bad publicity for ROTC courses, evidenced by graffiti on campus and cast a wider net for students.

There is no mention of whether the dog ate the old syllabus.

The report also states that no evidence was found that academic advisers colluded with professors to create the courses. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t specifically mention whether the review looked for collusion between the athletics department and instructors.

That university officials and those whom they employ have again avoided the central question posed by two years of unsavory revelations leads to the obvious conclusion that the answers must be pretty awful.

Still, they continue to deceive themselves that the stain can be washed away without answering it.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 12, 2014

  • Brent Laurenz If you want to vote in primary, you need to register to vote now

    RALEIGH – North Carolina voters will head to the polls on May 6 this year to cast ballots in important primary elections across the state.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Mooneyham Heeding the voter fraud call in N.C.

    RALEIGH – Legislators found the findings outrageous.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Roots

    I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 11, 2014

  • Is a paleo vegetarian diet possible?

    Research shows most people can follow a regimented eating plan for a short time. That's not the challenge. The challenge is finding a healthful eating plan you can follow day after day and achieve your long-term health goals. At this point, it doesn't appear that the paleo eating plan meets these objectives for most people.

    April 10, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 10, 2014

  • Hospice of Stanly County should be the one we support

    Regarding your recent article about Community Hospice relocating its offices from one location in Troy to another, let me point out a few things.

    April 10, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content