Letters to the Editor

Tim West: Lead reform of collegiate athletics

Luke DeCock’s Oct. 24 sports column “UNC’s situation reignites a debate” really nailed it. I can derive three important recommendations from it.

UNC (and all American universities) should stop admitting students chiefly because of their athletic skills. As DeCock wrote, doing so inevitably creates a cancer that eats away at an institution’s integrity. Things will never be right as long as academically unqualified (and sometimes uninterested) students are admitted and then kept afloat by extensive tutoring enterprises.

College athletes should actually be full students, with the time and energy needed to participate in activities as their interests and abilities allow, including such things as studying abroad and involvement in student organizations.

UNC has a golden opportunity to lead the nation’s universities in much- and long-needed changes in the way sports are integrated into the college experience. As a matter of fact, it may be only by doing so that UNC can really recover from this awful mess.

UNC-Chapel Hill took a courageous and very smart step in commissioning the Wainstein report. May its leaders continue on this wise course by making fundamental changes and thus once more lead a charge for the good in American higher education.

Tim West

Carrboro

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