So What CAN You Do?

When things get tough at work, I have a friend that likes to say “Don’t tell me what you can’t do, tell me what you CAN do to help out.” I don’t know why it took me so long to connect that phrase with the steady stream of excuses flowing out of Chapel Hill over the last year, but I finally did.    Unfortunately, since I have to work for a living, I didn’t get the piece finished before the N&O stole at least part of my thunder.   But let’s look a little deeper than that commentary and summarize what UNC could have done to have prevented (or at least limited) the Great Unpleasantness.


1)   Academic Fraud with University Tutor(s)

NOA Violation #1 documents three cases of academic fraud. Since this is being reported as an NCAA violation, we know that the tutor involved was employed by UNC. There has been some discussion whether there was one tutor or two involved in the NOA, but in the context of our discussion it really doesn’t matter.   (If this happens to be one of your pet points, read on before blowing a gasket.)

We know that Jennifer Wiley was released from the academic support center because “there was too much of a friendship between her and the players,’’ according to Thorp.    When this little nugget was first reported, Old Mac asked:

How did an NCAA agent discover the entire cheating prong during questioning about something totally unrelated — when UNC-CH didn’t discover anything when they fired her for misconduct?

So no matter how many tutors were involved, If UNC had really been interested in preventing or looking for academic fraud, they would have discovered at least as much when Wiley was let go as they eventually found when all sorts of fecal matter was being blown around by rotating blades.


2)   Swahili Once Again

I’m sure that I really don’t have to list all the ways that UNC screwed this up…but I want to.   Before going down the list, remember that the paper in question used “Mohammedanism” and “metronome regularity” without raising any questions before the paper was released with the lawsuit.   So here’s my list:

  • An adult could have actually read McA’dooh’s paper before assigning a grade when it was first submitted.
  • An adult could have actually looked at the paper in question during the so-called academic investigation.
  • The student Attorney General could have looked at the paper when deciding whether or not to bring it to the Honor Court.
  • Someone on the Honor Court could have looked at the paper.

Now that their systematic stupidity has been exposed for the whole world to see, has UNC:

  • Fired the professor/TA who graded a paper without reading it?
  • Investigated to see if grades were freely distributed to everyone or if the professors were only distributing academic gifts to athletes?
  • Investigated to see how long this particular class has been an outright fraud?
  • Investigated other classes within this department?
  • Looked into changing the Honor Court process?

As of this writing, the only thing that UNC has done is to pursue the last link in a very long chain.   They have spent zero time investigating gross academic fraud or looking into preventing it in the future.   They aren’t holding anyone in academics responsible for their participation in this fraud perpetrated by McAdoo.   They aren’t looking to see if athletes are getting special favors from professors.  But they ARE going to form a committee to look into the Honor Court process WHICH ONLY LOOKS AT ISSUES AFTER THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN DISCOVERED.    

You have to wonder if the folks in charge at UNC are really that stupid or if they think that everyone else is that stupid.


3)   Ms Wiley’s Private Tutoring Service

I’ll skip over the opportunity to make fun of this whole situation and just cut to the key points:

  • The athletes and tutors are “only supposed to do their work inside the [academic] support center"
  • So the nine known cases of Wiley “helping” the players after she was fired were clearly an attempt by the players to circumvent the normal tutoring process.
  • With the large number of documented cases of academic fraud lying at Ms Wiley’s feet, what are the chances that the FB players sought her out for legitimate tutoring after she was released from the academic support center?  
  • While the players were clearly responsible for their own actions,

Baddour now says the athletes who had been working with Wiley were notified that she was no longer in the tutoring program and they should do all their work with tutors who were in the school’s academic support program.

A timing issue also might have been a problem.

"We could have well had. . .some time lag between when we told her and when we told them," Baddour said this week.

Time lag?    Really?   Are there any adults with triple-digit IQs in charge over there?

Let’s move past the cheating and talk about her employment with Butch Davis.    Davis claimed that he didn’t know that she had been fired.   As with any simple, factual statement, it is either true or false.   So if he did not know, then why wasn’t the coaching staff notified of potential issues between their players and an academic tutor?    Does no one in the football coaching staff keep track of academic issues with the players?   If Butch is lying, then the conclusions are obvious and even worse.

Suppose for a minute that there were no issues between Ms Wiley and the players after she was dismissed from the academic support center.   How does it look for the head football coach to hire a tutor that was fired by UNC to work with his son?     You can try and spin this if you want, but it certainly doesn’t look good even if Butch had no ulterior motives.  A school, athletic department, or coaching staff that wanted to do things the right way would take steps to avoid embarrassing situations.     If you focus on doing the right things in small situations, you can often avoid big problems later.


4)   Blake Won’t Talk To Us

So there’s nothing that UNC can do since Blake no longer works for UNC?   Right?

Not really.   In the OSU scandal, part of Tressel’s settlement including a provision that he cooperate with the NCAA.   So why did UNC give Blake a $75K departing gift with no strings attached?

It will be interesting to see if Butch continues cooperating with the NCAA and if he shows up at the COI meeting (where he has a personal invitation from the NCAA).


5)   Blake and Agents

How is anyone at UNC supposed to know that Blake was working closely with Wichard since they have no subpoena powers?

We’ve talked about this point before.   Other schools audit their coaches’ phone records from university-supplied phones to insure that there is no contact with recruits during mandated quiet periods.    So we are left with a couple of alternatives:

  • UNC didn’t bother with auditing the phone records of their coaches…not even the recruiting coordinator.
  • UNC did an incompetent audit and didn’t actually check to see who Blake was talking to.
  • UNC did an audit and no one raised any flags over Blake talking to an agent.

It doesn’t really matter which choice you take.   It’s going to be hard to spin any of these in a positive light.


6)   Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

In the context of the Franklin quote, let’s compile a short list of pertinent facts:

  • Three cases of cheating with a university tutor
  • Seven FB players with nearly 60 different cases of improper benefits from agents and boosters
  • Former tutor acting as an ATM for airline and parking tickets
  • Nine cases of improper “tutoring”
  • Multiple Twitter and Facebook postings (making Old Mac famous)

So with all of the corruption running throughout the football team, how many players not included in the NOA knew at least one instance of NCAA rules violation?    With around 15% of the scholarship players involved in one aspect or another, do you really think that most of the locker room didn’t know about the various prongs that we’ve been discussing over the last year?

You can excuse the players for looking the other way if you want to.   Just don’t tell me about all of the “innocent” players that are being punished for the sins of a few.    Just like the actual perpetrators, those that knew and decided to say nothing have all played a part in the ongoing disaster in Chapel Hill.

The other thing that makes this particular situation worse, is that the NOA contains two different instances where UNC was informed of problems and “failed to investigate.”    Depending on the details, this whole issue could quickly shift from players not talking to the appropriate people to no one in authority at UNC wanting to know about violations.     This particular little nugget hasn’t gotten as much attention as it should have.   The media should be grilling Baddour/Thorp to get more information on this aspect of the NOA.


7)  Curry Math

This entry was intended to address two false claims that you might be hearing from UNC friends or co-workers:

  • The problems are all due to a few players, one rogue tutor, and one rogue coach.
  • There was nothing that UNC could have done to have stopped a few people that were intent on breaking rules.

The earlier portion of this entry focused on a few of the things that UNC should have been doing both before and after the NCAA blew into town.   Let’s wrap up this entry with a little more accurate accounting of exactly who is to blame for the scandal:

  • Three athletes cheating with university-paid tutor
  • Nine athletes intentionally bypassing university policy for academic support (most/all with intent of cheating)
  • Seven athletes receiving nearly 60 documented gifts from agents and/or boosters
  • FB players choosing to look the other way when they learned of the various improprieties
  • Asst Head Coach (and recruiting coordinator) working for an agent
  • At least one professor either complicit or negligent with regard to academic fraud
  • Compliance dept that failed to:
    • Adequately audit university-supplied phone lines
    • Monitor players on social media
    • Investigate reports of improper benefits

(Note that I didn’t even include Wiley or Hawkins in that list.) In other words, it is impossible to downplay the depths that UNC football fell to in order to reach a few Tire and Music Bowls. 



One of my favorite quotes (attributed to Napoleon) goes something like this:

Never attribute to malice those things that are easily explained by incompetence.

Is there any doubt that both have been running wild in Chapel Hill?

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

General UNC Scandal

25 Responses to So What CAN You Do?

  1. cWOhLFrPAiCKs 08/10/2011 at 8:22 PM #

    Excellent post, VaWolf82. I don’t think I’ve seen this laid out as neatly as you have done. I can’t imagine the NCAA doesn’t have a similar list prepared from the October meeting, but it will certainly be interesting to see just who shows up. I don’t think the NCAA will let them get away with firing people with “sizable” settlements in order to silence them. Someone will inevitably talk with the hopes of clearing their name/image.

  2. Plz2BStateFan 08/10/2011 at 9:09 PM #

    Crazy good article! Just print this out and carry it with you when you plan on being around the sad blue.

  3. TheCOWDOG 08/10/2011 at 9:13 PM #

    Did my post just get lacerated?

    Edit: If so, let me rephrase.

    Va, the only Va, it is good to see you expand beyond the linear.

    I will say that despite many staunch Wolfcrackers not wavering from intentions to vocifirate exposure of the facade which is UNC, our programs’ beating them into submission is the only way I knew/know what to do in answer to the lead question.

    We owned ’em and ya hardly heard a peep.

  4. turfpack 08/10/2011 at 9:16 PM #

    YES! Either the 28th of Oct. will go down in history as the day that the UNX-Cheat Way is burned to the ground….or…..The NCAA just slaps them on the hand and gives up trying to enforcing the rules against the money maker programs.

  5. Wolf_81 08/10/2011 at 9:24 PM #

    I still find it puzzling that very little has been said of Cynthia Reynold’s termination last year. She was UNC’s associate director of the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes. She claimed Davis was the reason for her firing August 2010. She was replaced by 29 yr old Beth Bridger. Who is Beth Bridger? She is the person who recommended Jennifer Wiley to Davis.

  6. VaWolf82 08/10/2011 at 9:30 PM #

    Did my post just get lacerated?

    Not guilty this time.

  7. VaWolf82 08/10/2011 at 9:33 PM #

    YES! Either the 28th of Oct. will go down in history…

    The Oct meeting is closed to the public and the only info from that will likely be whatever UNC decides to say and whatever leaks out from the many loud mouths on the Hill. We may not hear anything from the NCAA until the penalty meeting.

    The big question about the Oct meeting is whether UNC will announce their self-imposed penalties before or after.

  8. golf76 08/10/2011 at 9:43 PM #

    Thorough and provocative post. These are questions that our BOG and BOT should be asking. And, given the situation, questions that the NCSU Board of Trustees should recognize when they publicly acknowledge the contributions that Jimmy V. made to NCSU – mere minor violations compared to UNC today! Will we ever have justice? Will Jimmy V. ever receive his due from NCSU? This is not about UNC-Cheat until Jimmy V. is absolved of any wrong-doing 20 years ago. How can you prosecute to the fullest extent of the rules then and ignore justice to the fullest extent of the rules today? Sorry guys, I hold a grudge to this day!

  9. Gowolves 08/10/2011 at 10:02 PM #

    What I don’t understand is why no one is investigating the numerous license plates. I am not so much concerned about the tickets by themselves but the systematic actions to try to circumvent the parking laws by removing license plates. The removing of plates and the ownership of these vehicles are NOT being sniffed!!!

  10. choppack1 08/10/2011 at 10:06 PM #

    VaWolf – Nice work.

    Wolf_81 – are you serious? Why is this kind of thing not getting MAJOR play in the local media? That’s huge.

    As you’ve stated succinctly – it’s obvious that either no one is minding the store – or probably more likely, no one wants to mind it.

    And let’s bring up Hawkins – is it a good idea to allow someone whom was kicked out of the program a couple of years ago for fighting – to walk back in and have access to these players? Let’s face it – he wasn’t just hanging out in Chapel Hill or w/ the players – he was evidently allowed in the weight room?

    I wonder what the honorable Ken Browning had to say about this?

    If you’ve been keeping up w/ Packpride – some key pieces are being put together. Of course, we all know that we can’t rely on the “tough and fair” N&O to be tough on UNC – else these stories wouldn’t have broken on the interweb.

    The NCAA has a real pickle on their hand. They have a school who claims to be cooperating. Like a criminal copping a plea – they are doing just enough. Will the NCAA bring the heat or not?

  11. TruthBKnown Returns 08/10/2011 at 10:07 PM #

    This is one of the best write-ups I’ve seen to date. It contains so much consolidated information, and yet it only scratches the surface. But it could almost be used as the basis for the book that NEEDS to be written about this scandal.

    The ridiculous part of this scandal is that it is SO large and overwhelming, where does one even begin when trying to document it all? It’s almost too much for one book. Maybe there needs to be a multi-set volume of books like the Harry Potter series or something.

    Hole fans can try to counter each micro-point of this, but when one looks at everything here at once, there’s just no denying there’s so much more there than we even know about yet. And then the frustration sets in when we realize NO ONE is calling them on this stuff. No one in the media asks the tough questions. And no one in the BoG is calling for independent investigations. I went from wanting UNX to bite the big one (because I hate them) to the point where I really think they NEED more investigating because they have such huge issues and corruption that it WON’T EVER get cleaned up until someone does attack the problem.

    And no one is. It’s disgusting. Truly disgusting.

  12. Hungwolf 08/10/2011 at 10:08 PM #

    Great work VaWolf. I’m with golf76, burn the bastards for what they did to V. Asshole Friday scolled V for breaking the so called spirit of the law, while being found not guilty by the NCAA. While today UNC-CHeat is not investigated at all by the BOG for breaking the actual laws! I hope the openly bias bastards all burn for their unethical behavior.

    Time we gave V his due, the court or something should be named after him.

  13. Hungwolf 08/10/2011 at 10:22 PM #

    Over and over I read how the media is not pushing and I agree. Many things like the parking tickets and multi plates seem to get swept under the rug. And when is the last time you heard anything about a non-employeed assistant coach recruiting Simmons out of Penn?

    Ellerbee was just cleared by the NCAA clearing house and will start practing. Tar Heel Illustrated claims with Ellerbee being cleared that ALL recruits that signed in Feb. 2011 are all now at practice. THAT IS A TOTAL Fabrication. Simmons was released from his LOI and is not at the HILL. So ALL recruits that signed in FEB, didn’t make it to campus! It is this constant type of nonsense reporting that comes of Chapel Hill and the local media that creates soooo many ABCers. While at the same time the media calls out a NCSU bball player for parking in a handicapp spot. The tar holes wonder why we bother calling them out. We only ask fairness and truth!

  14. WolftownVA81 08/11/2011 at 1:00 AM #

    Fantastic piece. Thanks for boiling this down to where even the N&O editor can understand the magnitude of the rot that is UNC-CHeat. Perhaps some of the MSM that are not located in NC will use your work (proper cited of course) to keep up the heat.

  15. GAWolf 08/11/2011 at 7:38 AM #

    Excellent comments VAWolf, and I think this adequately represents the debth of the issue here. Further, with the NCAA announcing that they are still actively investigating Ohio State’s football program which could lead to additional Notice of Allegations on the very eve of the first hearing before the Committee on Infractions regarding the original NOA, all of this must be causing sleepless nights in Chapel Hill.

  16. LRM 08/11/2011 at 8:05 AM #

    Hey Va, I’ve got a question: how dare you challenge the Flagship’s integrity!?

    Nicely done.

    I’m also amused that so many folks see social media as THE problem here. Twitter is just a telephone.

  17. VaWolf82 08/11/2011 at 8:13 AM #

    Based on articles from the Columbus newspaper, it appears that the NCAA started a second investigation when Tressel’s e-mails came to light. That investigation was still going on when even more dirt came to light on players and gifts.

    The NCAA informs a school when they are starting an investigation. So if the NCAA is still investigating UNC, then I expect that they are losing sleep. Even if they’ve not been informed yet, they should be worried since the plagarism came to light only after McAdoo’s lawyer included that brilliant piece of work in the documents filed at court.

  18. MeadowWolf 08/11/2011 at 8:46 AM #

    Best summary I have seen so far…great post VaWolf!! This is why I read SFN everyday!

  19. BJD95 08/11/2011 at 8:59 AM #

    An absolutely pitch perfect, detailed, coherent summary and analysis.

  20. Prowling Woofie 08/11/2011 at 9:21 AM #

    Nice work, VaWolf – thanks for the effort !

    Shame 70% of these items will never see the light of day…

  21. whalepack1 08/11/2011 at 9:32 AM #

    this column should be sent to every daily newspaper in NC and askedo be published as a reader contributed editorial.

  22. baxter 08/11/2011 at 11:11 AM #


  23. MP 08/11/2011 at 12:16 PM #

    The N&O piece is also very good. It provides the answer to the question, “So what can you do?”:

    “That’s something where a lot of things went wrong,” Thorp said.

    I think that quote would be the perfect end to this post.

  24. pack76 08/11/2011 at 8:55 PM #

    VaWolf, good job laying this out so even the folks at the NCAA and over at UNX can understand it. I think you really should send this to the N. & O. and see if they’ll use it. Heck, send it to the NCAA as well. They might need the help.

  25. BorntoHowl 08/11/2011 at 9:56 PM #

    Great summary VaWolf! Could anyone imagine the consequences of allowing an independent investigation? Like the iceberg analogy, The Carolina Way runs so deep and only in the last year has the general public outside of NC State begun to see how insanely nefarious the facade of truth actually is. They might have to rescind a very significant number of the degrees they churn out on the presses.

    The license plate changes are criminal. Could you imagine your local police refusing to investigate blatant criminal activity. Only on the Hill. The BOG would threaten closing the doors of any other college in the state if anything remotely close happened there.

    I think it’s time to redistribute the makeup of the BOG. The integrity of the state of NC is being tarnished by the actions of narcissists that run that place over there and the good ol’ boy syndrome on the BOG prevents any action that could get to the root of the problem and fix it.

    I’m sure the NCAA sees right through this, being the closest thing to an independent investigation of this cataclysm, but they won’t have the balls to address it with the magnitude required to have them do anything toward truly fixing it.

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