UNC Scandal: What’s the End Game?

It’s a surreal world we occupy when the N&O, Gregg Doyel and #WPN are all working together.

For decades we’ve endured the arrogant elitism of The Carolina Way, knowing it never passed muster. And now, after their precious creed has failed them, the UNC faithful have responded mostly with passive indifference and refused to be held accountable by the lowly among us. Instead of demanding better, they’ve lowered the standard — everyone does it, after all – and have become firmly entrenched in spin and lies, hopeful this nonsense will all just fade away. But hope isn’t a strategy, and those of us who’ve long-suffered the unflinching indignation by every bastard born and bred that The Carolina Way is a superior standard are unwilling to let this die easy.

We’re enjoying the journey, sure, but what exactly is the end game here? It’s a fair question and, well, perspective matters.

For the ever-inconsistent NCAA, fresh off its self-empowering ruling against Penn State, where its jurisdiction was questionable and due process was waived: continued avoidance of Pandora’s Box. After all, the NCAA will remind you that academic fraud at a member institution is outside its jurisdiction (except where Calipari is involved).

For lowly blogs like SFN: validation. And for the local, traditional media: renewed credibility. For nearly two years, citizen-bloggers and the lunatic fringe on message boards scooped the traditional media, which appeared overwhelmed by – and oft-indifferent to – the dynamic nature and real-time pace of the internet and social media. Every tweet by an athlete and every bumbling lie and errant comment by Baddour, Thorp & Co. was documented and scrutinized on blog posts and message boards. Through it all, UNC feigned cooperation and demanded we accept the results of their “review,” and then showed disdain when we wouldn’t. The more UNC folks said, the worse it got. SFN’s Old MacDonald, et al., kept the scandal on life support until the local and, eventually, finally, national media showed up. Once Dan Kane was unleashed, this journey found its flavor.

For Kane, who has morphed into one of those flying Great Whites off the coast of South Africa: legitimacy. Kane took momentum from Yahoo!’s Wetzel and Robinson on the football prongs, and tactfully charged onto the scene of academic fraud, where he started asking the questions other local media outlets wouldn’t dare. Turns out, he wasn’t the puppet to which the UNC Media Spin Machine had long-grown accustomed. Kane could soon capitalize on the opportunity with a best-seller and a career leap to a national outlet like the new NBCSN (you may recall the impossibly-intolerable Skip Bayless built his entire career off his coverage of the SMU scandal).

For State fans, who endured the despair of the 90’s as a result of self-sanctions from our own inept administration and the self-righteous punishment by the UNC Board of Governors: the reckoning. Witnessing the shame of asterisks going up and banners coming down over at The Flagship would be a momentous event for Our State. Jimmy V was vilified by the local media for far less; his crime: breaking “the spirit, not the letter” of the law by not knowing what was going on in his athletic department (background here). Unlike over in Chapel Hill, there was no institutional academic fraud, which, because of UNC’s possible violation of FERPA, we now know dates back to at least 1998, and possibly traces as far back as the early 90’s when the African & Afro-American Studies Department was created. We suffered mightily, and a decade of the Matt Doherty years is exactly what they deserve.

For the “Public Ivy” academics: restored integrity. Sure, it’s a simple reality that athletes everywhere have been taking easy classes since the ball was invented. And those of us who had to get by C-walls in Dynamics and Differential Equations aren’t suggesting those we root for on Saturdays must all pursue technical degrees. But there’s a Grand Canyon between easy courses and fake ones created solely to maintain eligibility for athletes who can’t pass a basic math course or get better than a D in basic English, Drama and Stagecraft. How do you get a diploma from a renowned university without passing a single math course? Think about it: the institutional fraud at UNC has effectively ensured that many of its student-athletes will be unemployable if they “go pro in something other than sports.” Yet, no one over there seems shamed by that.

And finally, for the scores of Carolina fans, Wal-Mart and alumni alike: some long-overdue humility.

Ok, maybe that last one is a bridge too far.

About LRM

Charter member of the Lunatic Fringe and a fan, loyal to a fault.

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95 Responses to UNC Scandal: What’s the End Game?

  1. steelcity36 08/16/2012 at 9:38 AM #

    I like T-Pack’s Rick French quote about slow execution. My memory is fuzzy on this, but didn’t we get rid of the Chancellor, Provost and Chairman of the Board of Trustees within several weeks of the Mary Easley hiring scandal coming to light. Seems like we tore off the proverbial Band-Aid and brought it all out in the open by demanding accountability. Because we cut out the Cancer, we now have Woodson who has changed the whole demeanor of the University for the better by demanding excellence in academics and athletics and pushing the envelope when it comes to higher education and technology. Will UNC ever learn that it’s always harder to keep up with lies than tell the truth and pay the price.

  2. apexpacker 08/16/2012 at 9:43 AM #

    And yet I’m not getting my hopes up just yet, because:

    If the NCAA refuses to investigate further…
    If UNC continues to drag their Heels…
    If the UNC Board committee’s report is muddled…
    If the media runs out of new things to write about…
    If Butch’s lawyers dodge the phone records release…
    And if the Miami investigation, which is much easier to understand and a whole lot more sexy, gets rolling…

    Then this whole sad mess could just slowly recede, with Carolina claiming to have conducted a full investigation and instituted reforms. Reputation in tatters, banners intact. Seeming, but not Being.

  3. WalMartFan 08/16/2012 at 9:56 AM #

    Rochester, it’s because most of our Alums don’t have to live around here with those A-holes. I’ll never forget during the Doughrety years many of our fans were wishing the heels were better again for the sake of “the rivalry.” Most of these fans however were alums who only spent 4 years in state. Those of us who have lived around those jerks for our entire lives enjoyed the losing then and are loving the train wreck that is happening now!

  4. bluelena69 08/16/2012 at 10:01 AM #

    To paraphrase the beginning of this article:

    It’s a surreal world we occupy when I feel that the fact that John Calipari does not promote some mythical concept of a “Calipari Way” gives him the high road in college athletics. Just when I thought I could harbor no more disdain for UNC Athletics, the past two years happens. Man, I hate hypocrisy….

    Of course, I could really care less about what misguided and petty UNC fans feel about me and/or my NC State brethren, but I have always wished that I had an accurately elegant way to communicate that it is not jealousy or misplaced feelings of inferiority that inform my feelings towards them. Rather, it is precisely the type of token and deeply ingrained hypocrisy and smugness they have harbored that drives my disdain.

    Do I want them to pay dearly for this? Damn right I do. I am happy enough with an erosion of the myth of the “Carolina Way” but I want more. For years, I have watched them reap the benefit of the doubt (favorable treatment from various parties) stemming from the widespread belief in this myth. I have endured UNC people looking down their noses at me. I have watched my University suffer and be looked down upon as a direct result of this unfair treatment. One thing I can almost guarantee: whatever may come their way, they deserve every bit of it and more for being the poster child for hypocrisy.

  5. Wulfpack 08/16/2012 at 10:03 AM #

    Like everyone else, I do not know what will come of this. You would have to think UNC will have to face some very serious consequences assuming these allegations are true. What I do know is that “the Carolina Way” was and always will be a farse. Some of my more rational UNC friends have also come to this conclusion. For now, that is good for me. But I expect and hope a whole lot more follows.

  6. packof81 08/16/2012 at 10:12 AM #

    “… how come State fans are the only ones cracking this case? Where are the Dookies? Haven’t they got computers over there?”

    I’m with you Rochester. And for that matter, where are the other schools in the ACC? Carolina is a pox on the entire ACC. We aren’t the only ones who’ve suffered. I get the idea they’re letting us do all the heavy lifting.

  7. bluelena69 08/16/2012 at 10:25 AM #

    ^ It has nothing to do with academics, Rochester…

    Karma is a bitch. State is the only one cracking the case because we have suffered and watched for almost 25 years as we were punished for minor transgressions. We have suffered a front-row seat watching the Duke-Carolina super cage match being shoved down our throats. I would guarantee that if Clemson or Florida State were in close proximity to UNC, eventually, they would eventually develop the same initiative to crush the myth…

    Duke graduates get to enjoy 4 years of a good basketball rivalry and they move on. They go back to New Jersey, New York and New Delhi to carry on with their lives. Many NC State alumni and fans remain in NC and have to suffer the daily indignity of working with UNC alumni and Wal Marter fans…it makes a big difference…

  8. Rochester 08/16/2012 at 10:34 AM #

    As for smugness, IF (big if) Carolina is neutered sufficiently for these transgressions, every time we beat the Holes their fans will “asterisk” it, much like the Doherty years. “Doesn’t count, we were on probation.”

    If the NCAA keeps doing its Office Barbrady imitation, I think our best hope is actually reform from within UNC, sparked by the small band of very pissed off profs who are willing to speak out. If they can seize some momentum and force changes where athletes actually have to both qualify for admission and go to class, Carolina suddenly is no more formidable than Virginia or Georgia Tech.

    In some ways, serious reform from within is a more delicious response than an NCAA bitch slap. After all, look how long it took for us to come back from that (and we didn’t do ANYTHING compared to their shenanigans).

  9. Prowling Woofie 08/16/2012 at 11:06 AM #

    Lupus – Nike needs to use asterisks on the back of the Holes’ unis…

  10. ppack3 08/16/2012 at 11:19 AM #

    I’m going to say this again. Nobody can fall on this sword and end it. No one person. You know why? It is a program that has been in place for years, passed down through the rank and file like the Torah or the Kama Sutra.

    Who’s going to throw Dean under the bus? Who’s going to claim that Swofford had a hand in creating this systematic program for the eligibility of athletes? Nobody.

    Until there is proof, the speculation, back-biting and finger-pointing will continue. The only other option is for a real accredited entity to come in and perform a proper investigation. If that happens, I suspect that every crumb of dirt that the brass has been hiding/protecting since the Marvin Austin Tweets will finally see the light of day.

  11. TheCOWDOG 08/16/2012 at 11:39 AM #

    See…told ya you can write, LRM.

    Makes me wanna do that Beatnik thing with my thumb and middle finger.

  12. TopTenPack 08/16/2012 at 11:47 AM #

    Look: You can buy “The Carolina Way” for $4 on Amazon.

    Still more than I would pay for it.

  13. old13 08/16/2012 at 11:49 AM #

    ^ It’s dropped to $3; wonder why!

  14. Master 08/16/2012 at 11:53 AM #

    The end game for me would be to see the following results from a thorough investigation of UNC:

    1.) Public Relations Facial Tattoo that says Cheater
    2.) Loss of national reputation as Public Ivy
    3.) Multiple years as celler dweller in revenue sports
    4.) Huge apology from all UNC fans to NC State fans for years of total arrogance
    5.) If not all of #4, then at least a humble acknowledgement of the obvious
    6.) Statue on the brickyard of Marvin Austin

  15. Wufpacker 08/16/2012 at 11:58 AM #

    Great piece LRM.

  16. ppack3 08/16/2012 at 11:59 AM #

    Old13, If this “Independent Investigation” is legit, then it could be exactly what I described, above. And, right on time!

    Kane for President!

  17. bill.onthebeach 08/16/2012 at 12:03 PM #

    Sorry guys… the word from over on the HILL is that their “endgame” is….

    “ride it out….”

  18. Cabin Creek Wolf 08/16/2012 at 12:22 PM #

    old13, it’s not exactly an independent investigation if Jim Martin is on the panel. While he may not be considered a unc homer, he’s not exactly outside the system.

    Oh well, I’m nitpicking. I suppose I should be happy there’s some sort of movement for an independent investigation on the holes. Though Louis Freeh riding a Direwolf with ram intestines dripping from its jaws would really be what I’d like to see.

    Master, I’d like to add the quote “IL Marvin Veritas” to the bottom of that statue and have cupcakes surround the bottom of it.

  19. MP 08/16/2012 at 12:28 PM #

    Excellent post.

    “And finally, for the scores of Carolina fans, Wal-Mart and alumni alike: some long-overdue humility. Ok, maybe that last one is a bridge too far.”

    Alumni – Maybe.

    But give WalMart’ers 10 years of the (God bless him) Les Robinson era – Their humility will show in how they just fade away.

  20. h2othf 08/16/2012 at 12:31 PM #

    Outside panel? Bull…a panel that contains JUST 1 former BOG member is not an “outside panel”. But I must say this is pretty much what I expected from u*nc.

  21. JohnGalt78 08/16/2012 at 12:46 PM #

    Roy feels EXTREMELY good….EXTREMELY good about this bunch of $%^%#@@!


  22. JohnGalt78 08/16/2012 at 12:49 PM #

    Bye Roy

  23. h2othf 08/16/2012 at 1:01 PM #

    Watched ‘ol Roy’s interview on WRAL from above. Around the 2:10 mark he’s responding to being named the most overrated coach and says he doesn’t care about that and all he cares about is that his team is playing well and that “my kids are enjoying their expensive, um, experience, excuse me.”

    Expensive what, Roy? Freudian slip, perhaps?

  24. Rick 08/16/2012 at 1:21 PM #

    Just received a new press release from the NCAA.

    “It has been brought to our attention there are serious academic concerns at the University of North Carolina. In response to these concerns, we have decided to not allow Rodney Purvis to enroll at North Carolina State University as punishment for these crimes.”

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