UNC Scandal: What’s the End Game?

It’s a surreal world we occupy when the N&O, Gregg Doyel and #WPN are all working together.

For decades we’ve endured the arrogant elitism of The Carolina Way, knowing it never passed muster. And now, after their precious creed has failed them, the UNC faithful have responded mostly with passive indifference and refused to be held accountable by the lowly among us. Instead of demanding better, they’ve lowered the standard — everyone does it, after all – and have become firmly entrenched in spin and lies, hopeful this nonsense will all just fade away. But hope isn’t a strategy, and those of us who’ve long-suffered the unflinching indignation by every bastard born and bred that The Carolina Way is a superior standard are unwilling to let this die easy.

We’re enjoying the journey, sure, but what exactly is the end game here? It’s a fair question and, well, perspective matters.

For the ever-inconsistent NCAA, fresh off its self-empowering ruling against Penn State, where its jurisdiction was questionable and due process was waived: continued avoidance of Pandora’s Box. After all, the NCAA will remind you that academic fraud at a member institution is outside its jurisdiction (except where Calipari is involved).

For lowly blogs like SFN: validation. And for the local, traditional media: renewed credibility. For nearly two years, citizen-bloggers and the lunatic fringe on message boards scooped the traditional media, which appeared overwhelmed by – and oft-indifferent to – the dynamic nature and real-time pace of the internet and social media. Every tweet by an athlete and every bumbling lie and errant comment by Baddour, Thorp & Co. was documented and scrutinized on blog posts and message boards. Through it all, UNC feigned cooperation and demanded we accept the results of their “review,” and then showed disdain when we wouldn’t. The more UNC folks said, the worse it got. SFN’s Old MacDonald, et al., kept the scandal on life support until the local and, eventually, finally, national media showed up. Once Dan Kane was unleashed, this journey found its flavor.

For Kane, who has morphed into one of those flying Great Whites off the coast of South Africa: legitimacy. Kane took momentum from Yahoo!’s Wetzel and Robinson on the football prongs, and tactfully charged onto the scene of academic fraud, where he started asking the questions other local media outlets wouldn’t dare. Turns out, he wasn’t the puppet to which the UNC Media Spin Machine had long-grown accustomed. Kane could soon capitalize on the opportunity with a best-seller and a career leap to a national outlet like the new NBCSN (you may recall the impossibly-intolerable Skip Bayless built his entire career off his coverage of the SMU scandal).

For State fans, who endured the despair of the 90’s as a result of self-sanctions from our own inept administration and the self-righteous punishment by the UNC Board of Governors: the reckoning. Witnessing the shame of asterisks going up and banners coming down over at The Flagship would be a momentous event for Our State. Jimmy V was vilified by the local media for far less; his crime: breaking “the spirit, not the letter” of the law by not knowing what was going on in his athletic department (background here). Unlike over in Chapel Hill, there was no institutional academic fraud, which, because of UNC’s possible violation of FERPA, we now know dates back to at least 1998, and possibly traces as far back as the early 90’s when the African & Afro-American Studies Department was created. We suffered mightily, and a decade of the Matt Doherty years is exactly what they deserve.

For the “Public Ivy” academics: restored integrity. Sure, it’s a simple reality that athletes everywhere have been taking easy classes since the ball was invented. And those of us who had to get by C-walls in Dynamics and Differential Equations aren’t suggesting those we root for on Saturdays must all pursue technical degrees. But there’s a Grand Canyon between easy courses and fake ones created solely to maintain eligibility for athletes who can’t pass a basic math course or get better than a D in basic English, Drama and Stagecraft. How do you get a diploma from a renowned university without passing a single math course? Think about it: the institutional fraud at UNC has effectively ensured that many of its student-athletes will be unemployable if they “go pro in something other than sports.” Yet, no one over there seems shamed by that.

And finally, for the scores of Carolina fans, Wal-Mart and alumni alike: some long-overdue humility.

Ok, maybe that last one is a bridge too far.

About LRM

Charter member of the Lunatic Fringe and a fan, loyal to a fault.

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95 Responses to UNC Scandal: What’s the End Game?

  1. LifeLongWolf 08/16/2012 at 6:40 AM #

    A very well written, eloquent post. Are you sure you are an engineer? ;-)

  2. wufpup76 08/16/2012 at 7:10 AM #

    Nice post …

    “… and a decade of the Matt Doherty years is exactly what they deserve.”

    ^Doubt it will ever happen, but deserved indeed.

    “Think about it: the institutional fraud at UNC has effectively ensured that many of its student-athletes will be unemployable if they “go pro in something other than sports.””

    ^A very salient point – cuts to the heart of the matter and succinctly sums up both the hypocrisy of the NCAA “mission statement” and the fraudulence of u*NX & “THE FRAUDULENT (carolina) WAY”.

    “And finally, for the scores of Carolina fans, Wal-Mart and alumni alike: some long-overdue humility. … Ok, maybe that last one is a bridge too far.”

    ^Haha – awesome. A bridge too far is one of my favorite terms – good usage! Hoping for actual tangible justice from the NCAA or humility and admittance from u*NX is indeed a bridge too far.

    Great way to start the day :)

  3. Will NCSU 08/16/2012 at 7:14 AM #

    Since the 90’s? Bwahahaha! My mother taught an English course over there in the 70’s and was asked by the department head to pass a football player who never showed up for class or did any work. The 90’s? Guffaw!

  4. packplantpath 08/16/2012 at 7:24 AM #

    Heck, I can truly say I am happy now. Little more need be done except beat them on the field >70% of the time.

    The attitude change from “carolina way” bull$h17 snobbery to “everybody does it” is pretty darn fun.

    Tack on a few more penalties and it will have exceeded my wildest dreams for their program.

  5. Sw0rdf1sh 08/16/2012 at 7:24 AM #

    nice.

  6. StateFans 08/16/2012 at 7:29 AM #

    This is a FANTASTIC entry!

  7. GAWolf 08/16/2012 at 7:29 AM #

    *slow clap*

  8. McCallum 08/16/2012 at 7:30 AM #

    And the prayer shall be, “DEATH!!!”

    McCallum

  9. BJD95 08/16/2012 at 7:31 AM #

    Fantastic post. Puts it all together is a nice, neat package.

    There’s nothing that triggers well-deserved outrage like the hypocrite. It’s like the demogouge politician who rails against private “sinful” behavior and then gets caught blowing a guy in the airport bathroom. The fact that few D-1 athletic departments are totally pristine is irrelevant. First – not everybody does blatant fraud like this. There’s putting one’s thumb on the scale, and then there’s pounding it with a sledgehammer. Second, when you and your minions walk around for decades with your noses in the air spewing nonsense about “the Carolina Way” and “Public Ivy”…well, you’ve pretty much asked for your moment of reckoning, haven’t you?

    My take on the Penn State thing is that the NCAA now MUST act. They rightly decided not to allow heinous institutional problems to slip through the cracks on narrow technicalities. If to a normal person it seems like something that the NCAA should be bothered by…then they must do so. Otherwise THEY are also hypocrites, who singled out Penn State for punishment so everyone would gloss over the other rotten stenches in places like Chapel Hill.

  10. albunde6 08/16/2012 at 7:32 AM #

    For years, State fans have experienced the two tier system that exist in the ACC. UNX and everyone else. Will the playing field, court, diamond be leveled?

  11. GAWolf 08/16/2012 at 7:41 AM #

    The other end game is the in-fighting that has kept this scandal rejuvenating legs when it seemed it was about to die.

    The lawsuits, the claims of slander/defamation, the claims of racism, the undercarriages of busses seen by all, the races to the bottom of the barrels, the money quarrels… all of these things tend to bring forth transparency. Transparency is obviously the absolute last thing anyone over in Chapel Hill really wants. Yet they could easily put an end to their own slow and steady mutilation if someone over there just stood up and accepted responsibility.

    It’s their aged and refined pompousness that makes them completely unable to stand up and be so honorable. It’s that character flaw that will burn the whole place down as they continue to argue amongst themselves and turn on each other.

    It will end in nothing short of collegiate cannibalism of the most horrific degree.

    If given the choice between the cannibalism and a true, honorable and public hat-holding, I’m not sure which I would enjoy more.

  12. fullmoon1 08/16/2012 at 7:45 AM #

    Did anyone else hear the Ol Roy interview on drive time talk radio? Smug doesn’t begin to describe Roy’s demeanor. He opened with complaining about sensationalism and I turned the station as he made claims that basketball has been clean since he arrove back in the hole.
    What happens now? How long will this awkward silence from the NCAA last? The longer this uncomfortable, inappropriate dance continues between the ncaa and her ugly deformed cousin, unc, the worse it will be for both of them. Penn State fans are beginning to get pissed off as others have alluded to on here, I have had a few retweets on twitter from them regarding the topic.

  13. bruced123 08/16/2012 at 7:47 AM #

    Can we get a comment from Swofford on this matter?

  14. GAWolf 08/16/2012 at 7:55 AM #

    As in, “Okay, you got me, I did it.”

  15. fullmoon1 08/16/2012 at 8:02 AM #

    Then again…silence is golden. The silence says it all, on swofford’s part, unc’s part, ncaa, you name it. They are all just sitting there with there mouths open drooling and attracting flies.

  16. vtpackfan 08/16/2012 at 8:10 AM #

    I’ve got this image in my head of a Walmart Tar Heel feeling humiliated. If thats possible, what else about humanities cognition process don’t we know about?

  17. wilmwolf80 08/16/2012 at 8:15 AM #

    In lieu of devastating penalties from the NCAA that send their athletics into the stone age, which I do not see happening, I will accept total public humiliation. I want an hour long news program devoted to this. I want a torrid tell-all book written. I want their name to be dragged through the mud until that powder blue turns brown.

  18. T-Pack 08/16/2012 at 8:16 AM #

    Swofford? Who’s he? He can’t be anyone important or we’d have heard from him by now.

    I wonder what advice UNC is getting these days from the New York public relations / crisis management firm they hired. While looking back a bit, I ran across a WRAL article from almost two years ago with a differing outlook from the guy and firm they should have hired. Among his quotes is this one that rings mighty true … and sweet … these days. “’The most painful execution is one that comes slowly,’ (Rick)French said.”

    And these two quotes that show they deserve every single one of their thousand cuts. “Dick Baddour, director of athletics, said at that same news conference, ‘I just feel good about the academic support program.’” “UNC President Erskine Bowles has said, ‘There’s nobody prouder of the job we’ve done since we discovered this.’” http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/8456485/

  19. Wolfacct 08/16/2012 at 8:18 AM #

    Penn State fans have been calling in to the Finebaum show the last few days complaining and asking why the NCAA has not re-opened the investigation into U*NC-Chapel Hill. Finebaum’s opinion is that the issue will not “go-away” and that coverage by the media will continue to grow until the NCAA takes some type of action.

  20. Texpack 08/16/2012 at 8:18 AM #

    Make no mistake, the NCAA should act on the situation at the Flagship. They can’t enforce APR standards if they allow member institutions to comply by committing academic fraud.

    Even if they don’t get the punishment they clearly deserve from the NCAA, they have been publicly humiliated and exposed as the frauds they are.

  21. tuckerdorm1983 08/16/2012 at 8:34 AM #

    Roy has just assured everyone that the basketball program had no part in this. I think that settles it and the NCAA should just stay away. But, hold on a daggum minute. Did not Peppers play on the Basketball team? I guess I was dreaming. I would like to look at Travel Hopsborough’s transcript and see if he took any no-show classes. My dream is that the NCAA makes them take down a few banners at the Dean Dome including a couple NCAA National Championship banners acquired during the Roy Williams era. If that were to happen I don’t think I would be able to contain myself.

  22. golf76 08/16/2012 at 8:36 AM #

    OK, for you lawyers out there – all other violations aside, is there a case to be made for a lawsuit (“Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest!”) against the university (and individuals), either for wasting tax dollars (fraud) and/or failure to execute fiduciary responsibility to provide access to a legitimate education? The parents of these athletes should be loyally pissed off that UNC-Cheat derived financial benefit by exploiting the natural talents of their kids, without giving those student athletes access to a legitimate education, and/or for bestowing an empty, meaningless, degree. Not all college athletes go pro and make millions so what do those that don’t have a long pro career fall back on? There seems to be a major ethical and moral issue here that goes far beyond fraudulently keeping athletes eligible.

    Why is no one at that school outraged by this?

  23. beer03 08/16/2012 at 8:42 AM #

    Is the coverup of problems back to at least Julius Peppers going to be enough to take Thorpe down? He has to be in on it.

  24. lupus occidit arietem 08/16/2012 at 9:08 AM #

    Does anyone remember the new Nike Basketball Jerseys created for a few schools with Stars on the back?

    Seems even more of an appropriate way to signify things now…..at least on the smurfs uniforms

  25. Rochester 08/16/2012 at 9:27 AM #

    I’m beginning to wonder about the academics over at Duke as well. If those kids are so friggin’ smart, how come State fans are the only ones cracking this case? Where are the Dookies? Haven’t they got computers over there?

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