Regarding your reporting on the NCAA and UNC-Chapel Hill: Coaches and support staff meet weekly, biweekly or at worst monthly to discuss a host of issues. Teaching sports skills is just one topic; another hopefully is the academic progress of each athlete.
Normally an assigned academic counselor for a given sport will attend meetings. Usually there is a report of whether athletes are attending classes, turning in schoolwork and taking quizzes and exams. Surely the staff would then be aware of any irregularities.
Head coaches have a responsibility to know how each scholarship player is doing academically. Didn’t these coaches promise parents of recruits that they would steadfastly watch over the welfare of their sons or daughters? Having attended such meetings recently at a major Midwest university, I witnessed each coach and staff member with laptops, being given in-depth academic knowledge on each athlete. They clearly knew the status of the athletes under their supervision.
How can such a scandal have lasted so long without informed coaches not being aware of the problem? If any head coach was not in attendance or suppressed wrongdoing, then serious dereliction of duty comes to mind. A world-class institution will suffer greatly for failure to do one’s job.
David N. Camaione, Ph.D.
Professor emeritus, UCONN, Sport and Exercise Science