A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the UNC Scandal

George Leef

When the University of North Carolina's academic and athletic scandal first began to materialize before the public eye, the institution's administration sought to cover it up and handle those faculty members who smelled a deep problem. They were told that top officials would ferret out the truth and rectify whatever needed rectifying. Instead, however, they tried to cover it up -- much like a criminal might try to beat a felony rap by copping to a little misdemeanor. Two faculty members who wouldn't keep quiet so that the school could just "move on" have written an excellent book about the affair. That book is Cheated by Jay Smith and Mary Willingham. In today's Pope Center Clarion Call, I write about the book.

UNC has long tried to portray itself as a sports school that makes sure its "student-athletes" are truly students and that they get a superb education at UNC. After reading Cheated, it's impossible not to laugh at that notion. But many other big sports schools have similar recruiting and eligiblity operations that put winning teams first and education for the players second -- if it matters at all. Often it doesn't.

Cheated is an extremely valuable expose, but I doubt that it will lead to significant changes. The true problem is rooted in the incentives: the incentives to bring in big money with sports victories for the schools and equally the incentive to ignore learning while aiming at the long-shot of professional sports for many students.

  • Share

Most Commented

May 7, 2024

1.

Creating Students, Not Activists

The mobs desecrating the American flag, smashing windows, chanting genocidal slogans—this always was the end game of the advocates of the right to protest, action civics, student activ......

March 9, 2024

2.

A Portrait of Claireve Grandjouan

Claireve Grandjouan, when I knew her, was Head of the Classics Department at Hunter College, and that year gave a three-hour Friday evening class in Egyptian archaeology....

April 20, 2024

3.

The Academic's Roadmap

By all means, pursue your noble dream of improving the condition of humanity through your research and teaching. Could I do it all again, I would, but I would do things very differently....

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 5, 2024

2.

Subpoenas for All!

Ohio Northern University knaws its teeth with an appitite for vindictive lawfare....

October 12, 2010

3.

Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...