Scandal Over, UNC Wants To Grow Athletics Revenue to $100 Million

You have to hand it to UNC: those guys have unmitigated gall. Before their new chancellor has her first day on the job, and before lame-duck Chancellor Holden Thorp can announce whatever his “blue-ribbon” panel led by led by Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, has come up with, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham has announced plans to raise the athletics budget around 40% and to make sports a one hundred million dollar business over in Chapel Hill.

Let that one sink in just a second: UNC sports wants to be a nine-figure a year business, making it one of the Triangle’s biggest economic concerns.

The reason he gave was a familiar refrain oft-heard from The Flagship: doing so, according to Cunningham, would “allow the university to compete at the highest level.”

To get there, UNC would need to fill their football stadium, their basketball arena and get even more donations from its boosters:

Cunningham says it would take a combination of increased ticket sales, donations, sponsorship deals and media rights to get from $70 million to $100 million. Consider that Kenan Stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but had average attendance of 50,000; similarly, the Dean Smith Center holds 21,000 but the Tar Heels drew an average attendance of 19,000.

To my knowledge, this is the first time that any word has come from Chapel Hill that the Dean E. Smith Center is not filled to the rafters every single time the Tar Heels take to the court, and perhaps it is the first time that they’ve been forthcoming on their football attendance.  On gameday, they claim to have sellouts, but now, they’re saying that they only average 50,0o0 fans a game…and that they want more Tar Heel faithful to show up on Saturdays to support their football team.  And to pay more — probably a lot more — to the Ram’s Club for the pleasure.

Those are some lofty goals, but comes at a truly curious time: an academic fraud scandal is in the recent past, a leadership change is coming this summer and a commission has been empaneled to make recommendations on how to properly integrate UNC academics and Carolina sports.  No one knows at this point what vision Chancellor-elect Carol Folt holds for athletics, and no one knows quite yet what the Rawlings Commission will formally recommend and which of those recommendations UNC will choose to put into place.

Then again, perhaps it’s not so curious at all.  Surely in Chapel Hill, they think that since the NCAA all but let them off the hook and that state government of North Carolina has turned a blind eye towards their antics that the only possible interpretation is to double-down, cry out “damn the torpedoes” at the top of their lungs and take their rightful place as the kingpin of all of college athletics.  All before new and proper controls are put in place to prevent another outbreak of widespread academic fraud.

In other words, it looks like it is business as usual…The Carolina Way, where athletics runs the university and the adults are still in charge of the place in name only.  Meanwhile, on Jones Street in Raleigh, the lack of any concern from the State Legislature about this ongoing madness is truly deafening.


Headscratchers UNC Scandal

25 Responses to Scandal Over, UNC Wants To Grow Athletics Revenue to $100 Million

  1. Wufpacker 04/15/2013 at 2:57 AM #

    “Then again, perhaps it’s not so curious at all. Surely in Chapel Hill, they think that since the NCAA all but let them off the hook and that state government of North Carolina has turned a blind eye towards their antics that the only possible interpretation is to double-down…”

    Can’t say I blame them. What else would they be expected to think? If nobody else cares about their lack of integrity, why should they? In a weird way, I actually envy them that attitude.

    Get that green, baby.

  2. JeremyH 04/15/2013 at 3:17 AM #

    From the wise words of Method Man, “Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M./Get the money; dollar, dollar bill, y’all.”

  3. BJD95 04/15/2013 at 7:26 AM #

    Cue the Talking Heads…same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

    The Holes have no shame, nor any shortage of chutzpah. And the new idiots on Jones Street are as indifferent and buffoonish as the old idiots.

    Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

  4. ryebread 04/15/2013 at 8:44 AM #

    If anyone ever thought anything was going to happen to UNC out of all of this, they needed their head examined. A coaching staff, AD and Chancellor were fired. Otherwise, everything else is status quo.

    The NCAA makes too much money off of UNC to actually do anything. The state legislature is never going to touch them.

    I find this recent thing just another reason why I increasingly dislike college sports. The priorities are all wrong.

  5. packalum44 04/15/2013 at 9:34 AM #

    The past few years were the worst possible scenario for UNX. And what did it cost them after 2 decades….a couple “bad” seasons in football in which they still had a winning record and more NFL draft picks then their “holier than thou” neighbor? Maybe a few million in suboptimal revenue (which was it really “lost” since those seats would not have been filled regardless?).

    The best practice paradigm in the state of NC hath been determined. What will Yow and company do? I believe Doeren and Gott will walk the line, as they should.

  6. Pack78 04/15/2013 at 9:36 AM #

    Obviously, the new Chancellor had no input into this plan…the athletic tail continues to wag the academic dog at the hole. Reminds of a much-quoted statement that a former leader at the University of Oklahoma made years ago on that school’s academic expansion, along the lines of ‘We want to build a University that our football team can be proud of’.

  7. TeufelWolf 04/15/2013 at 9:38 AM #

    College athletics is becoming increasingly difficult to care about.

  8. cjt 04/15/2013 at 9:52 AM #

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a dedicated reader…but seriously, another article about UNC? Some of us really need to let it go. Just my two cents.

  9. gumby 04/15/2013 at 9:54 AM #

    When asked their thoughts about this plan, the unx* Board of “Trust”ees only had one comment: “How will this affect recruiting?”

  10. packof81 04/15/2013 at 10:12 AM #

    UNC is too big to fail.

  11. wolfbuff 04/15/2013 at 10:34 AM #

    I just got back from a vacation trip to California. We hit both NoCal and SoCal. And everywhere we went, there was UNCheat stuff on the shelves. Including basketballs at a carnival game on the freakin Santa Monica pier. So, yeah, the NCAA is not about to slaughter the cash cow.

    That said, my theory is the new Dartmouth lady is a sacrificial lamb brought in to take attention away from the athletic scandal. She’ll be in so far over her head that in 2 years time, they’ll be forced to bring in a real chancellor. Meanwhile, all the focus will be on that goat rodeo, and the athletic machine will keep grinding its way along. “The Carolina Way” lives on, my friends.

    Who cares, I’ll take Randy and Debbie and our way any time. At least I’m proud of my university again.

  12. Hungwolf 04/15/2013 at 11:06 AM #

    Takes money to cover up cheating: bribes, hush money, contract payoffs, etc…….

  13. Pack Mentality 04/15/2013 at 12:05 PM #

    Based on just my casual observance, the older Carolina alumni that I know (over 50) and some of the people my age are starting to get really mad about their school. Granted, these are just casual basketball fans, not die hards that I am referring to.

    Every alum of UNC that I know who is a big time sports fan has never had any concern over this. No wal-mart fan even really knows that anything is going on.

  14. eas 04/15/2013 at 12:38 PM #

    I agree we seem the only ones who think it is a big deal. I would have to agree a 100% of the alumni that I am friends with do not seem to even think about it. The Walmart/band wagon basketball fans (predominately those who are not associated with the school or program) have no idea anything happened. Ask someone randomly in Wally World who is looking at those air brushed baby blue shirts next time about any of the scandal/cheating issues. I bet money their response will be “What”, “When”, “Who is that” or “at least they didn’t still a stereo”.

  15. eas 04/15/2013 at 12:44 PM #

    Please excuse the spelling…..I was in a hurry.

  16. tdouble 04/15/2013 at 1:09 PM #

    ^He was in a hurry and came back 6 minutes later.

  17. phillypacker 04/15/2013 at 1:09 PM #

    Isn’t the SBI investigation still ongoing? I know, cue sarcasm.

    Also, who is the state senator who said he was going to call the dogs on this? Also the DA in Orange County? Also, McCrory said he was going to look at having board of governors/trustees reappointed? Anybody have any memories of any of this?

    Is any of this still active out there?

  18. Hawkeye Whitney 04/15/2013 at 1:35 PM #

    “College athletics is becoming increasingly difficult to care about.”

    Exactly Teufelwolf.

    Huge new conferences with watered-down rivalries; the best teams having to constantly reload with 5 star recruits because they only stay a year or two; academic malfeasance going unpunished; suspect officiating; and big money driving it all.

    For me, the fun went out of college athletics several years ago. I follow the Pack now, but that is it. I have better things to do with my time than watch ESPNU’s featured Sunday Night game. Notre Dame vs. Florida State anyone? Very underwhelming.

  19. JohnGalt78 04/15/2013 at 1:38 PM #

    eas you are referring to the Great Under-informed…the “feelers” as opposed to the “thinkers”….liberals, if you will. I note the use of the word “think” twice in your submission (misspellings forgiven). Feeling is easy. Cheating is easy. Go Holes!

    Frankly, I, like others here, am becoming tired of all this UNCheat shit. Let’s just focus our extremely thoughtful insights on the Pack and everything Pack (unless of course it’s the week of the UNCheat game). They really don’t deserve our attention.

  20. MISTA WOLF 04/15/2013 at 1:58 PM #

    Fcuk Clroania!!! Have you seen them ugly ass things for uniforms that they are wearing next year? Good gosh. If I was going to reference a song that is an analogy for the mothership that is UNC it would have to be Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver by Primus.

  21. tjfoose1 04/15/2013 at 2:07 PM #

    What do you all expect? It’s not like they had players accept $386 in illegal benefits.

  22. runwiththepack 04/15/2013 at 3:53 PM #

    You can defraud taxpayers $millions through faculty salary/benefits/overhead. Just don’t give your star player a free car. And, for Christ’ sake, don’t sell your sneakers, boys!

    I didn’t expect the privileged ruling class to see themselves for who they really are without being forced to do so by outside authorities (e.g. n.c.a.a.). I am stunned, however, that the Chapel Hill antics, academic in particular, have met such little sense of indignation by the same media crowd and academic world that would splash the front lines with the news of a player or two getting a free car.

    But, let’s suppose that every revenue athlete at UNC was secretly driving a new car given by a booster. That’s roughly 100 cars at, we’ll say, $40,000 each. (= $4,000,000).

    Instead, at UNC, for roughly 20 years, taxpayers paid a professor, an academic adviser, and that guy who recently resigned/retired. Maybe the Rams Club paid for the advisors, but the taxpayers certainly paid for Dr. Julius’ magic honor roll curriculum for revenue athletes.

    The Dr.’s salary and benefits alone probably surpass $3,000,000 (=20 yrs @ >$150,000/yr). Typically, facilities and other such overhead equal 50% or so of the staff salary. Thus, not counting what athletic dept. employees may have cost the taxpayers, Dr. Julius’ shenanigans alone probably cost the taxpayers $5,000,000 if all his classes were bogus.

    Conclusion: Defruad taxpayers $millions and $millions through academic corruption if you want – just make sure you do it at a place where it’s acceptable.

  23. sjmac11 04/15/2013 at 4:13 PM #

    This obsession with UNC is way past pathetic. We put a whole lot of effort worrying and crying about facts we can do nothing about. I mean I get it, I HATE unc more than anyone else. Thery are a collective group of self assured pricks whom do whatever they want. They tailgate in a parking deck sipping on Merlot and prefer to clap as opposed to passionantley cheer and yell at sporting events…douche bags. The problem is we don’t even exist to them. We are irrelevant to them basketball season and in the fall they could care less too. Very well written and informative articles but my god lets move on.

  24. sjmac11 04/15/2013 at 4:19 PM #

    mista wolf is right, why would any kid want to go wear prime time Nike uniforms with 6 different combinations with an all black uni with flat black helmets that (no matter what logo is on them) is bad a**. Our plain stuff with the all white pants and 2 inch numbers on the sleeves is and a red helmet with white outlined S block worn with black jerseys (that have no matching qualities) is really attracting the 2.5 stars!!!!

  25. triadwolf 04/15/2013 at 4:57 PM #

    Another $30 million and another round (actually a continuance) of cheating and the football team will still only win 8 games and go to the RJ’s Used Cars Bowl.

    At State we can win the same amount of games with a whole lot less money and cheat’n. We may be mediocre, but we’ve got a much higher ROI.

    In the end you can’t blame UNC; the NCAA, the public and the State of NC have spoken – The Carolina Way is alive and kicking, so go ahead and cheat you assess off just as long as it’s systematic and an ingrained part of your culture, it’s OK.

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