This is a touchy subject here in Tar Heel Nation, what to make of the UNC Academic Scandal. An internal probe has found that 54 no-show classes between 2007-2011 that the NCAA missed during it’s investigation of the football program over the last two years. The department of African and Afro-American studies issued grades to student athletes for fictitious classes that never existed.
Academic advisers, and athletic department personnel are accused of conspiring together to obtain satisfactory grades for players in order to sustain playing eligibility. The depth and scope of the current findings and potential future findings are unknown. In other words, nobody knows how big this thing really is.
Matt Hayes of Sporting News recently went off comparing the North Carolina and Penn State situations as equals, even suggesting Carolinas situation is somehow worse. The latest news in the ever thickening plot is that the academic fraud could go back as far as a decade and potentially include the men’s basketball program.
Then the Julius Peppers transcript surfaced that showed several failing grades and a 1.82 grade point average. Peppers has declined comment and the University has refused to acknowledge if it was in fact his transcript but did recognize it was a former student athlete.
As I said before, this thing could be devastating, it could involve multiple athletic programs and as wide scale a case of academic fraud in NCAA history. It could involve everyone from the University President all the way down to the coaching staff, advisers, professors and the guy cleaning the bathrooms.
Whatever the entire story is here it is wrong. It is a huge disappointment and a black eye on the athletics program and the University as a whole. The University of North Carolina should have better controls in place to ensure this type of behavior doesn’t happen at one of greatest Universities in the world.
The hope amongst the Carolina blue is that this thing is isolated and no matter what, it doesn’t involve the mens basketball program. My gut tells me the men who have led this program, the great Dean Smith, Bill Guthridge and Roy Williams would never take part in anything like this, that they are men of honor and the basketball program will remain clean forever. It is my personal belief that, that is true and whatever ends up coming out when everything is out in the open, it will remain true.
The reality of the world we live in and what I recently saw happen at Penn State has taught me to never close the door. The painful reality is that many PSU fans said the same thing about Joe Paterno and their beloved football program before the statue came crashing down and unprecedented sanctions were dolled out by the NCAA. We can say we don’t think it will happen here, I can say I’m 99.9999999% sure I’m right, but what about when the 0.00000001% comes true?