It’s taken a few years and a public announcement from a UNC whistleblower but we finally have the first public statement from a member of the NC General Assembly (at least the first I can recall) on the wide reaching fraud at the esteemed flagship. NC Senator Thom Goolsby penned a column posted today lambasting UNC and their response to the deepening scandal comparing the situation to a “pesky staph infection that just won’t go away”: UNC Academic Fraud Merits Criminal Probe. And he doesn’t hold much back attacking the UNC Administration, and notably, the NCAA.
It’s the gladiators who bring crowds to the arena and it should surprise no one that schools will do whatever it takes to field the best possible team. What is shameful is the continued smokescreen produced by the UNC administration around this scandal. Academic fraud has prompted no less than four investigations at UNC. One is currently being led by former Governor Jim Martin. So far the governing body of college sports, the NCAA, has not sullied its hands in the most recent fraud revelations.
In Senator Goolsby’s opinion, it is past time for the adults in this situation (aka, not anyone from UNC’s Administration) to get involved. He prompts the local DA’s office to begin a criminal probe.
It is past time for a criminal investigation into these fraudulent activities. For far too long, academic scandals have been treated with the soft glove approach. The local district attorney’s office should begin an immediate criminal probe. If the DA does not wish to handle this matter, he should request that the Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to handle this case.
If necessary, the General Assembly could consider legislation to make prosecuting this type of academic fraud easier.
WHOA! Huge news here. Senator Goolsby is not taking any prisoners essentially calling out the local District Attorney, the UNC Administration, the NCAA, and the UNC Board of Trustees. And he adds to that with a statement that should frighten all those who are involved: the GA could be compelled to action.
So who is Senator Goolsby? Given his aggressive stance on the issue, you might say he’s a tried-and-true Wolfpack red blood. A quick search yields the opposite. Senator Goolsby graduated from the Citidel with his bachelor’s degree and went on to receive his JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nothing more needs to be said about the credibility that the twice-elected Senator possesses. He likely sees this issue as a poison not just to the university that he holds a degree, but to the educational environment across the state that he serves. In fact, Senator Goolsby serves on the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee. This column may not sound good to the average UNC Wal-Mart fan, but it has to finally be music to the ears of those UNC degree holders that have watched its beloved institution taken repeatedly behind the woodshed for disgraceful reasons.
What Senator Goolsby is proposing just might be the hard-to-swallow pill that will cleanse out the remnants of a 2-year infection. If UNC is smart, they’ll swallow quickly before the General Assembly is compelled to action.