Regarding the March 14 Point of View “What really matters in college sports”: This was an urgently needed antidote to recent distressing news and opinion articles on scandals or even near-scandals relating to embarrassing collisions between academic integrity and so-called “big-time” college sports in the Triangle, including UNC-CH, where I served as chancellor between 1988 and 1995.
Football and men’s basketball, at least, are threatening what used to be a balanced, wholesome tradition of emphasis on physical exercise and healthy competition among many able-bodied college and university students in educational institutions of all sizes.
In a long career in which I had the privilege to serve as president or chancellor of five colleges and universities, I found and even had to intervene in excessive financial and even structural investment in athletics in only one Division I-A institution.
At schools like Wofford College and Drew University, my family and I enjoyed untroubled, enthusiastic immersion in collegiate athletics without the slightest hint of financial, academic or ethical excess. The same was true in larger universities in my college and faculty years at both Duke and Carolina and at other universities.
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Oh, for a return to the “good old days!” And are the movers and shakers in today’s larger and scarier NCAA giants listening seriously to this lament? “There but for ... !”
Chancellor emeritus, UNC-Chapel Hill