The News and Observer has two articles up this morning about the “tutor prong” of the huge ongoing UNC-CH football scandals. One of these articles directly considers Cynthia Reynolds, who was UNC-CH’s football academic coordinator. Regarding Reynolds’ history with UNC-CH, the N & O explains:
Reynolds, now 56, was hired in 2002 as an associate director of the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes, where she primarily worked with the football program until she was reassigned to Olympic sports in August 2009. She was not renewed in August 2010.
she was really moved because Butch Davis, a former NFL coach who took over UNC’s program in 2006, wanted a younger “face” for the academic support program for recruiting purposes.
The other of these articles considers Reynolds in the context of the tutor recently “disassociated” from UNC-CH and the overall culture at UNC-CH.
Senior associate athletic director John Blanchard, who is in charge of student-athlete services, acknowledged it is “not unusual” for staff members to be worried about bringing issues to coaches – and that people in academic support departments, including at UNC, “sometimes feel as if they can’t speak up to a head coach.”
Reynolds was worried that having a tutor transport Drew Davis crossed a line of familiarity that is unacceptable. The academic support program has rules prohibiting tutors from socializing with athletes because it wants that relationship to be kept professional. Reynolds – who was reassigned away from football after seven years in the job in 2009 and was released in August, then filed an age discrimination complaint against the school with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month – feared those same rules weren’t being applied in the Davis household.
However, “in my opinion, if I had gone to Coach Davis, my job would have been on the line,” Reynolds said.
Moving more directly into the circumstances of the “disassociated” tutor, the N & O notes that while her contract was not renewed and she was told by letter that she should not continue to tutor football players, that there was no follow-up from UNC-CH to ensure that she didn’t.
In July 2009, a member of UNC’s academic support program noticed that Wiley – an undergraduate mentor so respected that she had received a tutoring award two months before – had grown too close to the football players she was mentoring. The program chose “not to renew” her contract and mailed her a document reminding her that, under NCAA rules, continuing to tutor Tar Heels athletes outside of the program could jeopardize their eligibility.
But there were no policies for following up with Wiley or the players to make sure the tutoring didn’t continue. Just as there were no mandates, beforehand, barring her from also working as a tutor to Davis’ son – a relationship that continued for a year after she stopped receiving a part-time paycheck from the school.
Davis has said he had no idea that Wiley may have been giving his players too much help. When she wasn’t renewed by the school, he said last week, Bridger told him it was because she had grown too close to the players. But Davis chose to keep her on his payroll because he didn’t see any potential problems.
But another quote from Reynolds suggests that “Coach Schultz” may not be an accurate portrayal:
But she hesitated to approach Davis, who she says ran a tight ship as far as access, especially compared to Bunting, who she says ran a more “inclusive” program compared to Davis’ “exclusive” one.
I don’t see how Butch can possibly know as little as UNC-CH claims he did, and still run a “tight ship as far as access” and an “exclusive” program. Those quotes from Reynolds paint Davis as someone who kept track of details. Hmmm. I wonder which it is. I mean, if Butch ran a tight ship as far as access, how in the world could Chris Hawkins and other assorted figures of both prongs have had so much access to his players without Butch knowing anything about it?