As we get ready to watch the Wolfpack try to add a blemish on Miami’s conference record, the News and Observer dropped a significant article regarding the report by Governor Martin stating that the UNC fraud was an academic problem and not an athletic problem.
The accounting firm that worked with former Gov. Jim Martin in investigating academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill last week dropped one of their key findings.
Martin had said athletic officials and academic support officials raised questions with the Faculty Committee on Athletics about courses in one department that were supposed to be lecture courses but never met. But eight members of the faculty committee told The News & Observerâ€™s Dan Kane no such concerns had been raised.
But heâ€™s an inexperienced investigator, and it showed in his report. After athletic department officials told him they had raised red flags with the faculty committee, neither Martin nor Baker Tilly interviewed any of the faculty committee members, except for the NCAA representative.
Thatâ€™s right: Gov. Martin never talked to the people he blamed for dropping the ball.
Martin and Baker Tilly were obligated to interview several members of the faculty committee for two reasons:
â€¢ To make every effort to get to the truth;
â€¢ To give members of the committee a chance to respond to charges that they had heard concerns about possible academic abuse.
Thereâ€™s no acceptable explanation for why Martin and Baker Tilly didnâ€™t interview these faculty members. Martin and Baker Tilly seemed more determined to absolve the athletic department of blame than to get to the bottom of what went wrong.
Martin concluded in December that the academic wrongdoing at UNC was an isolated academic scandal. â€œThis was not an athletic scandal,â€ he said.
He didnâ€™t explicitly define â€œathletic scandalâ€ but letâ€™s presume he meant that no one from the athletic department participated in the academic fraud in any way.
With Baker Tillyâ€™s retraction, Martin has painted himself into a corner â€“ and it leads to a place that disputes his finding about the role of the athletic department.
More on this is sure to come. To sum it up, the article has a very strong statement:
Martin and Baker Tilly tried to show that the UNC athletic department was pure. Instead, cornered by the facts, theyâ€™ve unintentionally shown that athletic department officials suspected academic fraud years ago and did little or nothing about it.