CNN: California Congressman Demands Answers From the NCAA About UNC

UNC National Champions in Academic Fraud Banner

After at least two years of near silence on the emerging and ongoing scandal at UNC in regards to admitting athletes and fraudulently keeping them eligible academically, the NCAA will soon have to reckon with Congress:

UNC fake class scandal and NCAA’s response wind their way to Washington

A U.S. congressman is questioning whether the NCAA failed to hold the University of North Carolina accountable during a 2012 academic fraud investigation and is demanding answers from NCAA brass.

If he doesn’t get them, he’ll call for congressional hearings and subpoena NCAA President Mark Emmert, Rep. Tony Cardenas told CNN.

The California Democrat is referring to a probe in which the National Collegiate Athletic Association investigated UNC’s system of “paper classes” — independent studies requiring little work and no attendance. Athletes were able to get easy “A”s without actually going to class.

The NCAA declined to sanction the university, saying the scandal was academic in nature, not athletic.

Only those who look at the world through light-blue tinted glasses accept that reasoning at face value.  Oh, and those in Indianapolis at the NCAA, of course.  They have chosen to ignore the facts that have been emerging at a steady pace over the past few years, refused to investigate and used the excuse that since a few non-athletes were involved in the questionable classes and programs that it was a purely academic issue outside of their purview as a college sports’ governing body.

That stance is the polar opposite of the one the NCAA took in 2009, when it punished Florida State for major violations concerning academic fraud.  The NCAA stripped scholarships from 10 different FSU teams and forced them to vacate all of the victories in 2006 and 2007 — including several of legendary coach Bobby Bowden’s football wins, which cost him the record of college football’s all-time winningest coach.

“Academic fraud is among the most egregious of NCAA violations,” the NCAA infractions report said of Florida State.

“The [violations] committee was concerned with the large number of student-athletes involved in the fraud and especially by the fact that individuals within the institution’s Athletic Academic Support Services unit were involved. The committee was further troubled by the fact that there were warning signs indicating that academic improprieties were taking place, but these warning signs were, for the most part, ignored.”  And with that, FSU team wins and individual records were expunged from the record.

Now, only five years later, the NCAA seems to be ignoring a relatively parallel case, despite strong evidence of widespread academic fraud at the University of North Carolina.  Apparently, despite the similarities, UNC’s issues are not even worthy of investigation.

For its part, UNC has run a clumsy public relations campaign of denials, obfuscation and character assassination of its own staff, while simultaneously denying to release public records and hiding behind the protections of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) whenever possible — often under flimsy rationale.  They fought in court to prevent the release of some public records, despite the North Carolina statute requiring them to do so, and when they do respond to legitimate requests, the University has dragged its feet and taken months and some say years to meet their obligations.

To clear their name UNC points to so-called “independent” “investigations” such as the one ran by former North Carolina governor Jim Martin — a former employee and current political associate of multi-million dollar UNC athletics donor and NC Republican Party financier Art Pope.  Ironically, it was the John W. Pope Foundation, named for Art Pope’s father, that gave $3 Million in 2011 to expand UNC’s academic center for student athletes.  That hasn’t stopped UNC from claiming that Martin was completely independent while he conducted his review, despite the obvious and glaring conflicts of interest that he came to Chapel Hill with.  At best, Martin’s report was a whitewash; at worst, it was the best kind of lie: it told part of the truth but not the whole truth, especially the truly devastating part of the whole truth.  At the end of the day, it’s fair to say that the next truly independent investigation of UNC athletics will also be the first.

As far as the state government of NC is concerned there has been little if any appetite in the state legislature to investigate the largest athletics scandal at its ostensible flagship university in modern times, and one second only in UNC history to the 1961 Point Shaving scandal that ousted then UNC head basketball coach Frank McGuire.  Now comes the US Congress, and with it, the power to perhaps finally expose all of the facts for what they are, rather than having them filtered through a university desperately trying to preserve its image and its perhaps ill-gotten championships.

It is said that sunshine is the strongest disinfectant, meaning that bringing all of the relevant facts to light is the best way to solve problems.  Since UNC, the state government of North Carolina and the NCAA don’t want to let taxpayers know the full truth of what is happening at a multi-billion dollar public university that their hard earned tax moneys help fund, perhaps Congress can.  And Congress can hardly be refused:

Congress can compel the production of documents and sworn testimony from almost anyone at almost any time. And unlike the judicial process overseen by the courts, the congressional system offers relatively few procedural protections for those individuals or companies who find themselves subject to, what founder and early Supreme Court Justice James Wilson called, “the grand inquest of the state.”

As an independent and coequal branch of government, Congress’s investigative power is largely unchecked by the courts, as a matter of constitutional design. Thus, the true limitations upon Congress’s authority are pragmatic and based upon institutional and political power dynamics.

In other words, if the US Congress comes calling, you had better answer in full or risk their wrath. That wrath can mean imprisonment, and for UNC and the NCAA, they may well soon find themselves in deep water indeed if they try to con Congress with their refusal to come out with the whole truth once and for all.

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Home Forums CNN: California Congressman Demands Answers From the NCAA About UNC

This topic contains 19 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  85Designo 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #50965

    Alpha Wolf
    Keymaster

    After at least two years of near silence on the emerging academic fraud scandal at UNC in regards to admitting athletes and keeping them eligible, the[See the full post at: CNN: California Congressman Demands Answers From the NCAA About UNC]

    #50969

    Sweet jumper
    Participant

    UNX response: This is the diabolical work of a rogue congressman who is calling for an investigation by a rogue congress. Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?

    #50970

    theTHRILL
    Participant

    I’m delighted that all these negative reports are surfacing in the media about the tainted athletics program in CH, but nothing devastating has happened to them yet. I’m still in the camp that says nothing ever will.

    #50972

    highstick
    Participant

    Doesn’t Congress take Fridays off???

    #50973

    blpack
    Participant

    Roy have a few weeks or a few months left?

    #50974

    Adventuroo
    Participant

    must be some WEIRD thing goin on in Californy…..a congressperson that is calling for investigation of the NCAA over a university that is the bastion of support for his party. Wonder if he done fried some brain matter (as in the egg in the pan)….

    However, he OUGHT to ask another question of the NCAA….

    Tell me, Mr. Commissioner…..WHAT is YOUR salary? Why does your Non-Profit Organization need over ONE BILLION ($1,000,000,000.00) in “reserves”? What type of rainy day are you saving for…..even Noah did not have, proportionally, THAT much cash.

    Also, whilst about your questioning, how’s bout calling Commish Swoff. His little empire has over 50 MILLION ($50,000,000.00) in reserves. If you totaled up ALL the reserves of the conferences and the NCAA, then that would probably be $2,000,000,000.00 PLUS. Now WHY, Mr. ACC Commish…..do YOU need that type of bread in Petty Cash?

    WAIT, Mr. ACC Commish…..we have one more little inquiry……Who was the AD that was TOLD by the venerable DEAN of BB Coaches to set up the AFAM fiasco…

    Also, WHO greased all the skids and pushed it through?

    Why, Mr. Commish….you seem a bit perplexed…..

    #50977

    wufpup76
    Participant

    Make sure you wipe those machines well, Chapel Hill. Better yet, just drive down 70 and toss them off the pier.

    Might want to make sure the paper shredder is in good order as well.

    #50978

    elvislives
    Participant

    Guys we’ve got nothing to worry about now. If anybody can get things done to solve a problem, its Congress. Hands off the wheel.

    #50985

    Texpack
    Participant

    Roy have a few weeks or a few months left?

    I don’t remember the exact sequence of events but there was some point in this whole sleazy saga that Roy either got scared or got religion on the paper classes. Since he didn’t report anything, I’m going with scared. From that point forward the number of roundball players in the fake classes dropped dramatically. That pattern alone is enough to make lots of people believe that Roy absolutely knew what was going on.

    Now for those of you who think there might be meaningful penalties applied to the branch campus in Orange County, I still say you are going to be very disappointed. The NCAA has spoken on this subject already and they are not going to reverse field. They may be the only organization on Earth more arrogant than The Branch Campus.

    #50988

    bill.onthebeach
    Participant

    It may be coincidental, and it may not… that the 29th District which Representative Cardenas serves is a suburban Los Angeles area only minutes away from the University of Southern California and UCLA… both of which have “close working relationships” with the NCAA….

    Cardenas is serving his first term as a Congressman… having previously served ten years on the Los Angeles City Council.

    Needless to say… it would difficult, if not impossible, to be a successful City Councilman in Los Angeles… without building some important “Town and Gown” connections.

    And generally speaking… it’s pretty safe to say… first term Congressman are seen and not heard and don’t initiate political conversations on national issues without guidance and permission from the ‘invisible powers that be”… both in California and in Washington.

    If the first term Representative, and relatively unknown, Cardenas doesn’t have enough “national name recognition and credibility”… then perhaps this (from the CNN link) means more…

    “Kids who are walking out of these schools cannot read. They are getting degrees that are worthless,” …

    said Tom McMillen, a former congressman, Rhodes Scholar and college and NBA basketball player who now serves as secretary for the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, ….

    “I think the chink in the armor of the NCAA is that they say you’re going to get an education….

    If these kids aren’t getting an education, the whole thing’s a sham.”

    Most everybody here at SFN knows who this “well known and well respected” guy is …

    From here it looks likes the NCAA Reform Train is filling up fast… Get your tickets now … only a few first class seats left…

    -- bill.onthebeach
    #50989

    packbackr04
    Participant

    this is my favorite quote and something that I still cant wrap my head around. I mean, who would believe that 20 years ago one man… Mr Nyangoro would set this system up all by himself. Two things in my mind are for certain, he did NOT do this alone, and he did NOT do it for free.

    “UNC has long insisted that the paper classes were solely the idea of one man — now-indicted professor Julius Nyang’oro, who was head of the African-American studies department.”

    #50992

    ryebread
    Participant

    If Congress actually gets involved, the combination of this sort of inconsistent enforcement and governance (USC, UNC, Penn State, smaller schools, Ohio State), the Northwestern lawsuit, the various lawsuits about conference realignment, the fact that football is incredibly dangerous to one’s long term health yet the NCAA and its institutions are seemingly doing nothing about it, and the fact that the “education” piece is as big of a sham as the term “student” in student athlete is enough of a cocktail to potentially bring down the NCAA.

    I for one wouldn’t mind it one bit. One of two things need to happen:
    1) Complete overhaul of the system with benefits provided to student athletes. These benefits may not be salaries, but may be part of the royalties, include disabilities, etc..
    2) Complete change of the system to return to no benefits whatsoever. Let the kids go straight to the professional leagues at any age.

    I’d actually be all for #2. Doing the first would be a situation where the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. I suspect due to all the money involved, it would be #1.

    As for UNC, nothing is going to happen to them. If Congress gets involved, knowing that being found “guilty” of inconsistent enforcement would be another nail in the coffin for them, the NCAA is going to really circle the wagons to protect how they handled the UNC case.

    #50994

    graywolf
    Participant

    It’s almost Friday in Chapel Hill and I for one want to witness the carnage when the hammer finally hits.

    #51008

    Hungwolf
    Participant

    To uncover the truth means to bring down UNC Basketball. That means bringing down the former UNC-CHeat AD John Swofford that was in charge when the bogus classed were established. LAST thing the NCAA wants is to give the ACC Commissioner another reason for a power conference to leave the NCAA. I don’t see why no one is connecting the dots on this. No doubt Dean Smith and Swofford the key players in the start of the bogus classes. No accident Swofford was at the NCAA investigation hearing for UNC-CHeat football, he was covering his ass!

    #51017

    packalum44
    Participant

    Bully pulpit rhetoric from a Congressman associated with USC is my guess. Odds of actual subpoena are quite slim. Better chance in the Nyugrandnasdndnl criminal case.

    But seriously, what will it take? If you would have told me 10 years ago that an employee and former player would have whistle blown in such a public manner I’d have celebrated expecting major repercussions. Crickets chirp instead.

    What will it take? Molestation it seems. Even then Penn State dropped from 9th to 34th to 51st to 44th to 25th and is currently 2nd for 2014 class (Scout rankings). Out-recruited NC State each year, even in light of the cruelest sanctions since SMU.

    Only fools play by NCAA rules.

    #51018

    TheCOWDOG
    Participant

    ” What is it gonna take…”

    That’s easy. Mass boycott of ESPN sponsers.

    Turn off the tube…find something on the radio for starts.

    #51023

    JohnGalt78
    Participant

    “Solely the action of one man”…How about we get Buckets to set up a commission to investigate. Get it? Grassy knoll….

    #51033

    doug
    Participant

    I would also add Mack Brown to the list of folks with ties to this mockery of education.

    #51038

    StateRed44
    Participant

    Hopeful somehow they get their due

    #51934

    85Designo
    Participant

    I was in WalMart today and until things change I will do my best to not shop there again if I can help it. I took pictures of the worst display of favoritism I have ever seen at Walmart before (but do not know how to post the pics on this site or I would show you)?: 1. Since when is the Carolina Brand a manufacturer of apparel with the likes of Russell and Fruit of the Loom (Big UNC placard next to those) ? 2. Since when does a DIShonorable Carolina Brand deserve to have their hats solely on display along with the HONORABLE US Armed Forces on an end cap hat rack of US military hats? I have absolutely had enough of this crap. Our PR people at State are amateurs! Time for all ABC’ers to boycott WalMart. If anyone can give me advise on posting the pics please chime in.

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