N&O: UNC-CH athletic advisers steered players to no-show classes

The N&O’s Dan Kane is at it again this evening, this time highlighting the fact that athletes not only made up a disproportionate number of enrollments, but that there was a systematic and accepted practice of steering athletes to no-show classes.  So important was this mission that it took 115 employees and a cushy multi-million dollar workspace…..

CHAPEL HILL — For eight years, Bobbi Owen has been the highest-ranking official in charge of a program at UNC-Chapel Hill that keeps up with the studies of roughly 800 athletes so they can graduate while juggling the heavy demands of their sports.

The staff of more than 115 full and part-time employees in the academic support program for athletes includes counselors who track academic progress, tutors and specialists in learning disabilities and time management. Nearly all of them work in the plush confines of the new $70 million Loudermilk Center, a 150,000-square-foot building for athletics at Kenan Stadium.

Yet a faculty report released Thursday suggests the support program strayed from its original mission. The report spoke of “potential confusion” in the role of academic counselors at Loudermilk, with the authors saying that they had been told that support program staff steered athletes to classes in the African and Afro-American Studies Department. There, the report said, an unnamed staff member helped the players enroll in no-show classes.

 

Despite being well staffed, the “student-athletes” still couldn’t get a straight answer….

 The report also said that athletes complained they were receiving conflicting instructions from counselors at Loudermilk and academic advisers in the university’s main advising center, which serves all students. An adviser’s job is to help students select appropriate classes. The report, however, said that athletes could get counselors in the athletics support center to register them.

At the end of the 13-page report, the authors asked: “Why is there a separate center for support of athletes?”

 

So, in response to having (IMHO) way too many cooks in the kitchen already, they’ve decided the best course is to add a few more….

The university has made numerous other changes to try to prevent another scandal from happening. On the academic side, there are much tighter controls over course offerings and limits on independent studies. Owen has stressed that support program counselors should not be steering athletes to classes.

On the athletic side, the department has added two new officials from other universities to address academic support and compliance issues.

 

I also thought this was pretty telling…..

But some on UNC’s faculty doubt much can be done to remedy the situation. Football and basketball at the major athletic conferences bring in tens of millions of dollars in revenue, making the temptation to compromise on academics in order to win championships hard to resist.

Stay Tuned….

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About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

UNC Scandal

47 Responses to N&O: UNC-CH athletic advisers steered players to no-show classes

  1. Pack78 07/28/2012 at 9:26 PM #

    This diploma mill stinks to high heaven…looks like Blanchard and the fine folks at Loudermilk are next up in Kane’s crosshairs. Kane seems to know the answers (moles?) to the questions that the u*nx administration (such as it is) keeps responding to with outright lies and deflections…

  2. golf76 07/28/2012 at 9:27 PM #

    Seems like a reasonable solution would be to eliminate the counselors at Loudermilk and pull the entire counseling program for athletes under the faculty. How does adding more staff at Loudermilk achieve the desired goal of student education if the 115 (115? – :-o ) currently working with athletes can’t get satisfactory results? NC taxpayers should be outraged! But instead of being outraged, let’s laugh. This whole UNC-Cheat situation is fraught with humor.

  3. choppack1 07/28/2012 at 9:32 PM #

    Kane is the man. He makes a small leap here, but I’m glad he did it.

  4. PackerInRussia 07/28/2012 at 9:59 PM #

    “…that keeps up with the studies of roughly 800 athletes so they can graduate while juggling the heavy demands of their sports.”

    I love the wording. If they were doing things right, it should say, “so they can play sports while juggling the heavy demands of their studies.”

    By the way, how does the number of employees in the academic support center compare with other similar-sized schools?

  5. runwiththepack 07/28/2012 at 10:20 PM #

    Russia, you beat me to it. Good post.

    “So they can graduate… “. “How” they graduate apparently doesn’t matter.

    Just as long as their media whores can keep spouting off about The Carolina Way, Blue Heaven, Pine Trees, Public Ivy, Cultural Mecca, beautiful campus, USN&WR, Sears Cup, blah, blah, blah.

    Of course, most of the items on that list were ill-gotten. I have to throw up now.

  6. wilmwolf80 07/29/2012 at 12:25 AM #

    keep digging…keep digging.

  7. ppack3 07/29/2012 at 1:19 AM #

    So, is Laudermilk the ‘Center of Excellence for Athletes’ that was part of the $70 million expansion of Keenan Stadium?

  8. BureauOfMines 07/29/2012 at 1:42 AM #

    It’s a high dollar diploma laundering racket.

  9. Pack84 07/29/2012 at 7:17 AM #

    Dan Kane is now officially my hero. The fact that he’s neither given up yet nor been squashed by his superiors amazes me.

    Keep digging Dan!

  10. Sw0rdf1sh 07/29/2012 at 8:39 AM #

    “Her counseling staff didn’t tell her about the no-show classes before they became public, she said, and they haven’t talked to her about it since.”

    Bobbi Owen, doesn’t it look a bit inept to be in charge of a Department and not have your staff tell you what was about to hit the fan before it did and moreso have you not the slightest interest in now finding out about it since it is now right in everyone’s face? YOU are in charge?

    AND THEN:

    “He is very passionate about these students learning something in his class, learning the things they need to do, learning how to do research, learning how to do papers, albeit probably not like the normal student that comes into Carolina,” Reynolds said.

    You know, if they actually went to a class it might provide something to learn other than how to duck out on things in life.

    This stuff is only getting bigger, deeper, and uglier for the UNC Administration.

  11. gumby 07/29/2012 at 10:00 AM #

    Latest news is that U*NC is now offering a governance training class for U*NC Board of Governors and Board of Trustees, teaching them how to insert their index fingers in their ears while simultaneously repeating the mantra “LA-LA-LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LA-LA-LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

  12. rlgray 07/29/2012 at 10:51 AM #

    Not to over do the asterisk use but:

    UNC-* and cluster*

    a certain symmetry!!

  13. runwiththepack 07/29/2012 at 12:14 PM #

    How much will this be a black eye for the NCAA as well? Does that help explain why they aren’t very anxious to return to Chapel Hill, despite the obvious need to do so? They poked around over there for how long, and didn’t think it was fishy that all the football players took African Studies and made all A’s and B’s?

    After all, UNC was probably tipped off before the NCAA arrived in 2010, when they praised UNC for such wonderful cooperation! The evidence? No basketball player majored in African Studies after 2009, after many years of constituting the main diet of basketball players’ academic “rigors”.

    Now our great nation has the odd situation where the governing body of college sports may have been cutting UNC slack that they don’t allow anybody else.

  14. ancsu87 07/29/2012 at 12:50 PM #

    Now our great nation has the odd situation where the governing body of college sports may have been cutting UNC slack that they don’t allow anybody else. ====

    Of course because John Swafford is one of them. BTW where is the ACC Commissioner on this issue? I recalled just recently he weighed in with his opinions on Miami. He appears to be letting this one go by .. I guess hoping that eventually everyone will be content to follow his advice “move along there is nothing to see here”.

  15. Pacobee 07/29/2012 at 12:50 PM #

    So…is it reasonable to assume Debbie and Co are running an internal review for us?

    I love being able to gloat over the lack of control over there but would hate to eat crow down the road. I’m not saying what they did was right…it wasn’t. As an engineering student, I knew which professors to get, who gave the most homework, who took their test questions from old ones…etc. It was a case of other students sharing the love, not my academic advisor telling me to take a particular session. Knowing this coconut telegraph existed in the 90′s, it’s not a big stretch to see it taking place in the same manner UNCX is getting nailed for. In Debbie I trust…just want to gloat without fear of it blowing up.

    How long until we play Tennessee? :)

  16. WuffDad 07/29/2012 at 12:55 PM #

    UNX Recruiting film:

    “Now can you believe it? After only five years of playing football, I got a college degree.”

  17. BJD95 07/29/2012 at 1:19 PM #

    “Got” being the key word. Certainly nobody over at the pansy blue diploma mill “earns” anything.

    I think it’s far more laudable to have 60 percent of your athletes EARN college degrees than to have 90 percent GET them.

  18. BJD95 07/29/2012 at 1:21 PM #

    Oh, and the kitten pictures are my very favorite part of this series. Just when I think they can’t get any more awesome…they do.

  19. runwiththepack 07/29/2012 at 1:24 PM #

    “…is it reasonable to assume Debbie & Co. are running an internal review for us?”

    That’s where i would put my money. Common sense is also applied in W. Raleigh.

    Add to that the fact that our ball players don’t make all A’s and B’s, and, in fact, flunk sometimes, it appears as though the work they do is legit.

    Or, at least I sure hope they’re not involved in wholesale cheating AND struggling with a lot of their schoolwork. That would be embarrassing!

  20. MrPlywood 07/29/2012 at 2:15 PM #

    re: “The report spoke of “potential confusion” in the role of academic counselors at Loudermilk” – they knew exactly what they were doing.

    re: “The staff of more than 115 full and part-time employees in the academic support program” 115?

  21. golf76 07/29/2012 at 2:35 PM #

    As I recall the five star QB from Page in Greensboro, Jamie Summers, decided to de-commit from State to go to UNC-Cheat because he was led to believe he would be able to play his freshman year. Just saw last week that he’s headed to prep school to get his grades in order. Before the sh*t hit the fan at UNC I suspect it was routine for them to attract such talent from other programs that were honest with recruits. Wonder how he’s feeling now?

  22. runwiththepack 07/29/2012 at 3:03 PM #

    Plywood,

    Since Dr. Julius’s students didn’t have to do much work, those 115 employees probably spent nearly all their time with the non-revenue athletes, who largely take real classes, I would suppose.

    That’s maybe part of the “genius” of the phony course scheme. It probably takes only a couple tutors to help Dr. Julius’s dozens of students, who don’t have to study for exams. Perhaps only those few tutors knew what was up in Dr. Julius’ African Studies, and were probably chosen for their reliability in keeping quiet.

    BUT, several people saw the grades given out by Dr. J, including, notably, the coaches and advisers, who probably also knew that a measly 10-pg. double-spaced

  23. runwiththepack 07/29/2012 at 3:05 PM #

    somehow entered it twice. See previous

  24. JeremyH 07/29/2012 at 7:40 PM #

    wait… did Michael Jordan cheat?

  25. graywolf 07/29/2012 at 8:55 PM #

    Can anyone guess he name of Dan Kane’s best selling book about “The Carolina Way”?

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