Who is Wallace Loh and is he really that stupid?
Every so often a story breaks that is really a head-scratcher, like the comments made by University of Maryland President Wallace Loh at a faculty and staff meeting that found their way to the North Carolina media. In answering a question about college athletics, Loh said he “would think” the NCAA investigation at UNC would lead to the “death penalty” against the university.
Loh appears much too smart to make such a dumb statement. He was born in China, moved to Peru and was educated in the United States with a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell, a master’s from Cornell, a doctorate from Michigan and a law degree from Yale. He has held high administrative positions at the Universities of Washington, Colorado, Iowa, and others. He has worked vigorously for diversity at each stop and, most notably, challenged some racist, protectionist policies of President Trump.
Loh calls college athletics one of the many dormant volcanoes over which he sits. He said an athletic scandal can blow up a university, blow up its reputation and blow up the president. He called what has happened at UNC “abysmal” and said he would think it would lead to implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA.
Loh must not know what those two words actually mean. If he did, he would know it pertains to a single sport at a university that is shut down for a year or two because of repeated, egregious NCAA violations. SMU football received the death penalty in the early 1980s when the school was caught breaking rules by coaches who cheated in recruiting, moneyed boosters who paid players and crooked trustees who approved the schemes. After back-to-back-to-back-to-back probations, the NCAA thought it had no choice.
Does Loh realize no college program since SMU has been given the death penalty? Does he think all 28 sports at UNC will be shut down when the NCAA has had trouble making allegations stick on any one team? Why is Loh even talking about another school? Has the power of the presidency gone to his head, as well? Very stupid.