UNC Fraud is an NCAA Problem

Steward Mandel (Fox Sports):

Wainstein describes a culture in which academic-athletic counselors for the football and basketball teams knowingly steered borderline students to Afro-American studies office manager Debbie Crowder’s sham classes for the primary purpose of keeping players eligible.

Just how widespread was this ring of corruption? Jan Boxill, a philosophy professor whose formal title is director of the Parr Center for Ethics, steered women’s basketball players to Crowder and literally named their grade. “Did you say a D will do?” Crowder wrote to Boxill in an e-mail about one player who had apparently recycled an old paper. “Yes, a D will be fine; that’s all she needs,” Boxill replied.

It’s standard practice these days to mock the NCAA for its antiquated rules and haphazard enforcement of them, but the North Carolina report does not involve tattoos for memorabilia, free hotel stays or agent payments. It details systemic abuse of the one area the NCAA purportedly holds most dear. Its mission statement, according to president Mark Emmert, is “to be an integral part of higher education and to focus on the development of our student-athletes.” Those Enterprise rental car commercials, those “going pro in something other than sports” PSAs, the obsession with APR scores and Graduation Success Rates – all reinforce the NCAA’s stated-though-not-always-followed contention that academics are paramount to the college athlete’s experience.

So today, Emmert and the NCAA face a defining moment. What are they going to do about North Carolina? How do you appropriately reprimand a university whose employees spent 18 years making a mockery of higher education? Who put the competitive needs of athletics above the academic development of students? Who made “the most serious academic fraud violations in 20 years” — Clem Haskins’ 18 cheating basketball players — seem like child’s play when compared with the unfathomable scope of UNC’s “shadow curriculum.”

The NCAA has no choice but to deliver a stern punishment to North Carolina or risk losing all credibility whenever Emmert or its leaders talk big about the importance of academics. But what that punishment will be is anyone’s guess.

Maybe wins and trophies will be vacated. Maybe more postseason bans are in store. Maybe something more severe. There’s no blueprint.

Whatever the punishment, it has to effectively send the message that academics, more than anything else, cannot be compromised for the sake of athletics success. The cynics will say that already happens, that there’s jock majors and easy classes at every school. Maybe so, but we don’t know that.

We only know what happened at UNC. And if the NCAA does not demonstrate the extent of its disincentive, then it does risk what happened at UNC happening everywhere else.

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UNC Scandal

Home Forums UNC Problem is an NCAA Problem

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  • #59826
    Prowling Woofie

    It’s hilarious that UNX has people thinking this has only gone on for 18 years ! I had a good friend that played football for them back in the Dick Crum years (late 70’s- early 80’s), and he said “they” offered to write his papers and do his assignments. He was a brilliant student, and didn’t trust “them” to make better grades than he would on his own, so he declined, but the ‘service’ was available back then….


    I’ve got a friend who was a recruit in the late 60’s who said Carolina offered him a car, money, and to give his girlfriend a job.

    Of course he’s a huge Carolina fan. His favorite UNC player is Roman Gabriel. Seriously.


    ^ I confess to having no clue what that means.



    Just a couple of classic lines:

    “Boxill, who has been at UNC since 1985, is an award-winning faculty member whose writing and teaching focuses on ethics, social and political philosophy, feminist theory and ethics in sports.”

    “Boxill is editor of “Sports Ethics: An Anthology” and “Issues in Race and Gender” and is past president of the International Association for Philosophy in Sport.”

    You just couldn’t make this stuff up. Higher education and academia at the Flagship…hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to define it…


    Of course he’s a huge Carolina fan. His favorite UNC player is Roman Gabriel. Seriously.

    ^ I confess to having no clue what that means.

    Gabriel played for State. Get it?

    Smarter than the average bear


    This is *way* worse than point shaving. Chapel Hill’s cheating potentially robbed competing institutions of millions of $ in alumni donations and sale of athletic merchandise, particularly in the NCAA basketball tournament and championship games. More subtly, when schools excel in sports, and especially win titles, applications for admissions go up and typically GPA and SAT scores. *That* improves your schools ranking in US News and elsewhere, giving an additional boost. How much of that helped UNC-Sham keep their vaunted “best public in the country.”

    The NCAA needs to set an example and:
    Take away *all* the wins from anyone in a sham course. (Just the people who the course kept GPA eligible is not enough. If someone is carrying a bogus course with a guarantied grade, that’s one less *real* course they had to take that would have sunk their GPA and let them take a lighter academic load. Simply taking the course made their other courses easier.)

    Take the titles and banners. Men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, women’s soccer…any sport.

    Pay restitution to all the teams for the vacated wins, especially Illinois and Michigan State in basketball, who they cheated out of significant cash.


    ^ I was going to add baseball to the list, and when looking up the Hobbs Johnson story about his miraculous “A’s in 4 classes” summer school session which got his eligibility back…


    …I found this gem. Carol Folt, boldly going to the heart of the problem and handing down discipline to the little guys. Anyone heard of any of these people? I know Boxill now, but not two days ago. Get ’em Folt, get ’em! Maybe you can borrow Roy’s BB gun to take out these scalawags.

    Jaimie Lee

    Tim McMillan

    Bobbi Owen

    Jan Boxill

    Alphonse Mutima

    Corey Holliday

    Travis Gore

    Brent Blanton

    Beth Bridger



    ^^^ yes I know Roman Gabriel played for State…. which is WHY I don’t get it! 🙂


    The UNX homer had no clue that Gabriel played for STATE, not UNX.

    Smarter than the average bear


    I guess that’s what I thought it meant. It was so preposterous I figured I must be missing something.


    The more I think about it, the more I think it’s the kiss of death for the NCAA unless they come down hard on UNC.

    The only other option is to expose a bunch of other schools, hide behind “it was a systemic problem” and promise to fix it going forward.


    “The only other option is to expose a bunch of other schools, hide behind ‘it was a systemic problem’ and promise to fix it going forward.”

    That’s my “too big to fail” scenario. I think it’s plausible.


    I’ll be pleasantly shocked if any real punishment is given. Fully expecting nothing from the NCAA on this for the men’s programs, but could see the women’s bball program to get the worst of it, whatever “it” is.

    If they actually do something to the men’s programs, then I’ll be waiting for the Penn State treatment to occur, a la reducing the penalties after a season or so because, “Gosh-darn it, they’re just so dadgum likeable! Awwwww…see, they’re really sorry!”


    As we suggested here days ago…
    The NCAA problem is a bigger problem for xNC than the opposite case..

    The white elephant in the room speaks frankly here… but is anybody really listening??

    Of course, Emmert is “shocked”…. ’cause just like some of the folks over in Chapel Hill… he “thought they (both xNC and the NCAlwaysAbsent) were doing things the ‘right way’…

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    Emmert calls Report troubling, disturbing and shocking:

    “Just based on the (Kenneth) Wainstein report, this is a case that potentially strikes at the heart of what higher education is about,” Emmert said Monday. “Universities are supposed to take absolutely most seriously the education of their students, right? I mean that’s why they exist, that’s their function in life. If the Wainstein report is accurate, then there was severe, severe compromising of all those issues, so it’s deeply troubling. … It’s absolutely disturbing that we find ourselves here right now.”


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