Wetzel on UNC: NCAA, Emmert’s chance to punch back

Dan Wetzel (Yahoo!):

North Carolina’s sins here go far beyond the scope of a traditional NCAA case. This isn’t about fancy cars in the player’s parking lot or an agent offering a budding pro some Champagne Room money or some old alum doling out a hundred dollar handshake to a potential recruit.

Those are acts in which a rich person gives a poor(er) person money, an act that in virtually any other segment of society is met with affirmation.

The NCAA bans those in the spirit of leveling playing, but it’s also/mostly about controlling all revenue. It rings hollow as additional billions roll into the overall enterprise, but the player is still getting the same deal from the 1920s: tuition, room and board.

The UNC situation cuts to the core of college athletics and the base point for the NCAA’s own longstanding public relations campaign (student-athletes going pro in something other than sports).

It is, you could say, the one thing that is almost universally agreed upon.

Educate the players. Or at least try.

For too many athletes, the chance at a college education is a currency they struggle to cash. They arrive unprepared, disinterested or just incapable, like plucking a kid from elementary school ballet class, enrolling them in Juilliard and expecting them to succeed like the others.

That doesn’t mean a school that’s made the devil’s deal of admitting them should give up on them, not attempt to educate them on some levels, not try to push them to be better.

Carolina shouldn’t brazenly, blatantly and systematically run an assembly line of eligibility. There have been too many success stories to not make an attempt.

For 18 years and over 1,000 student-athletes, including huge swaths of football and basketball players, UNC ran classes that were designed to require little to no academic work. It included academic advisers essentially telling the instructor the grade necessary to maintain eligibility. This was true even in cases when everyone suspected/knew the student in question submitted false or recycled papers for the minimal work required.

So they knew kids were cheating … in a fake class, no less … and they just calculated the needed grade to keep playing and then gave it to them.

Lux libertas, indeed.

The extent of this thing is so preposterous that it rocked even within the glazed-over eyes of a post-Nevin Shapiro world of college athletics.

After all, at one point, there was even a PowerPoint presentation about it.

It included a screen that read:

We put them in classes that met degree requirements in which:

• They didn’t go to class

• They didn’t take notes, have to stay awake

• They didn’t have to meet with professors

• They didn’t have to pay attention or necessarily engage with the material

It concluded:


In the long, illustrious annals of NCAA infractions hysterics, this is comic gold. So over the top it’s hard to believe.

The presentation noted that on average, players were receiving a 3.61 in the no-show classes and a 1.91 in “real” classes, so without Crowder, GPAs would plummet (and, predictably, did). The PowerPoint was later forwarded to others in the athletic department, including a senior associate AD.

These aren’t the actions of a rogue employee or a tutor overstepping the line between helping and doing. This isn’t one or two people. These aren’t coaches and administrators conveniently not asking or wondering why an at-risk kid suddenly got straight A’s, all so they could play even dumber than usual (well, daggum it, Roy).

This isn’t even anyone trying to keep a secret.

This was flat-out, full-on cheating. It’s not just breaking UNC and NCAA rules, but the basic tenants of college sports. This was an institutionalized way for students to maintain eligibility and win bowl games and Final Fours while not teaching them a damn thing.

And it went on for 18 years.

Emmert has been beaten to a pulp during his time in Indianapolis and most of it was self-inflicted.

Here’s his chance to punch back. This isn’t inserting himself into a scandal such as Penn State that was best left to courts of law. This isn’t repeating the tired argument over the value of amateurism.

If Emmert, at 61, still has the old fire he started the job with, if he still has the belief that NCAA rules count for something, if he still believes in college sports and the good it can produce, it he still holds the confidence to walk into a fight and throw haymakers, then this is the weakling waiting to be made an example.

Multi-sport postseason bans? Fines? Scholarship reductions? Death penalty? It all should be on the table.

Here’s the chance for the enforcement process to be strong, authoritative and actually applauded.

A school gave up on educating its students in pursuit of athletic glory.

They didn’t … have to stay awake.

Because if the NCAA doesn’t stand up to that, then why would it and its president stand at all anymore?

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

UNC Scandal

Home Forums Wetzel on UNC: NCAA, Emmert’s chance to punch back

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #59775

    Dan Wetzel (Yahoo!): North Carolina’s sins here go far beyond the scope of a traditional NCAA case. This isn’t about fancy cars in the player’s parkin
    [See the full post at: Wetzel on UNC: NCAA, Emmert’s chance to punch back]


    The article is brimming with absolute gems … my favorite is the not so subtle jab at Vitale:

    “(part of your defense is) The TV announcers always said we did it “the right way”?”

    LOL! 🙂


    From the NCAA’s bylaws:

    10.1 Unethical Conduct.

    Unethical conduct by a prospective or enrolled student-athlete or a current or former institutional staff member, which includes any individual who performs work for the institution or the athletics department even if he or she does not receive compensation for such work, may include, but is not limited to, the following: (Revised: 1/10/90, 1/16/10, 1/9/96, 2/22/01, 8/4/05, 4/27/06, 1/8/07, 5/9/07, 10/23/07, 5/6/08, 10/5/10)

    (b) Knowing involvement in arranging for fraudulent academic credit or false transcripts for a prospective or an enrolled student-athlete;

    As I said earlier, it doesn’t matter if you can prove that Roy knew or not. Why the Carolina faithful think that having regular students involved in the cheating helps their situation is beyond me.


    Here’s another one:

    Title:19.1.1 – Severe Breach of Conduct (Level I Violation).

    A severe breach of conduct is one or more violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model, as set forth in the constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit. Among other examples, the following, in appropriate circumstances, may constitute a severe breach of conduct: (Adopted: 10/30/12 effective 8/1/13, Revised: 7/31/14)

    (a) Lack of institutional control;

    (b) Academic misconduct;


    I’m still betting on the “too big too fail” scenario – a slap on the wrist accompanied by hand-wringing and cries that If UNX was reduced to this then the entire system needs to be overhauled…


    Why, Plywood? You could wipe out all of UnC and no one would notice or give a crap except for a few fools that sold their souls. I’d even bet if you nuked Chapel Hill, no one would give a rat’s behind except for those who bought and drank too much Kool Aid. Too big to fail? No, just banish them to the Klondike north of you!!!!

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!


    Why 1992? Why stop there? Wainstein would have us believe that this is when Crowder started “The Program.” Really? No. That’s as far back as he was paid to look.


    Too, Wainstein would have us believe that this whole thing started because Crowder wasn’t given enough attention when she wasn’t smart enough to handle the academic rigor when she was in school at The Ewe, so she proceeded to infiltrate the administration and single-handedly circumnavigate the NCAA rules and UNC bylaws in order to create the largest systematic program for keeping student athletes eligible in the known history of the NCAA.

    I’m almost offended for her.

    Hawkeye Whitney

    I have tried to step back and look at this scandal as objectively as I can. As a lifelong Pack fan, a State alum, and also someone with a graduate degree from UNC-CH, I truly want State to compete at the highest level, against the best competition (including the Heels), and in a league with high academic integrity. I obviously spend a lot of time being disappointed. Yes, I remember a few classes at State that were easy and attracted more than their fair share of basketball and football players. One anthropology class, in particular, featured so many classroom films (who doesn’t enjoy watching “Nanook of the North” for a grade?) that the professor should have wheeled in a popcorn popper. But, the fact is, the classes were real, just not very challenging.

    What UNC has done is a disgrace, and there is no way that it continued for eighteen years without EVERYONE in the athletic department knowing about it. They have no excuse. I don’t know what additional punishments are coming, but let me ask this: If the “death penalty”, being the loss of revenue sports, isn’t appropriate when a university has defrauded its donors, fans, students, parents of students, the NCAA, the ACC, and its alumni by pretending to educate athletes and giving them grades that were in no way earned, then when would it ever be appropriate?

    Believe me, I yearn for the Pack to excel on the court and on the field, but I do not want our beloved University to lose its soul in the process. It was always somewhat fun to hate the heels, in as friendly a way as possible. Now I am thoroughly disgusted by them, with no friendliness at all. They have irreparably tainted not only their athletic department but also what was once a fine public academic institution. I wonder if they think it was worth it.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.