Latest report offers little comfort at UNC-Chapel Hill

February 8, 2013 

Everyone, including faculty, administrators, students and alums of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is weary now. Weary of hearing about possible NCAA investigations. Weary of the unfortunate lack of standard and oversight in the African studies curriculum. Weary of excuses from administrators and athletics officials.

While we can’t blame them, the crisis that is ongoing in Chapel Hill, a crisis not just of embarrassing academic scandal at a school that knew better but of questions about administrators who should have known what was going on, who should have acknowledged problems sooner, etc., isn’t over yet. A report to the UNC system’s Board of Governors basically falls in line with an investigation by the consulting firm Baker Tilly and former Gov. Jim Martin that concluded the bogus courses in African studies were entirely the responsibility of a now-retired department chairman and a mid-level administrator. There were non-athletes in the classes, too, they said, so no athletics scandal here.

Game, set, match so far as athletics scandal goes? No. Former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Burley Mitchell, a Board of Governors member, was blunt: “It is inconceivable that this was two people who did this.” Mitchell believes the issue warrants further investigation by the college sports governing body, the NCAA. He’s right, and he’s a former prosecutor and judge who’s had to look at and analyze a lot of investigations in his time. Athletes were a huge percentage of the students in these classes, whether they were the only ones in there or not.

This is not over. Unfortunately.

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