In their announcement that UNC would receive no conference sanctions as a result of their recent NCAA rules infractions investigation, the ACC Infractions and Penalties Committee made a stern statement:
“The committee was particularly concerned with the actions of personnel who committed serious NCAA violations regarding impermissible benefits, academic fraud and impermissible assistance, and/or improper relationships with sports agents.”
That’ll teach them. They sure will follow the rules now, after all that.
Color me surprised, actually. I thought that they’d at least have to write a book report, after all, that’s the normal form of punishment for Tar Heel scofflaws over in Orange County. Instead, nothing. That from the conference headed up by a man who was so concerned about Clemson’s transgressions when he was the Athletic Director over at UNC-CH that he more or less demanded that the Tigers get an additional year of probation and post-season exclusion above and beyond what the NCAA had levied them for, with that punishment coming from the ACC. Then again, perhaps John Swofford has mellowed with age and grown a little kinder and gentler. Or maybe his heart still goes pitter-patter for his alma mater. I’ll leave that for you to decide.
Carolina being Carolina, they had to get the last word in — as they always seem wont to do — and here’s what they had to say:
“As a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the University of North Carolina is proud of its long and rich history in what we believe is the ultimate blend of academic and athletics in the country. The unfortunate and regrettable experiences of the last few years have been difficult for the University community to endure, but we believe UNC will be a better and stronger member of the conference going forward.”
What jumps out at me reading that is that Carolina didn’t miss a chance to tout themselves as the be-all, end-all and that there is not one single shred of apology for what their athletic department, their professors, their academic support system, their coaches, and their players did: commit academic fraud with blatant disregard and not only that, turn a blind eye towards what some of their “student”-athletes were up to in their spare time: acting as if they were platinum-selling rap artists living the good life in the VIP section of a trendy nightclub. Among other things. Instead, it was “hard to endure” and “regrettable.”
If that doesn’t sound like a self-pity party, then I have never seen one.
And it begs the question: what, if any lessons were learned over in Chapel Hill as a result of this? Well, besides not getting caught next time?