The UNC response to the amended notice of allegations by the NCAA is, sadly, a missed opportunity to demonstrate leadership against the corrupt quagmire of Big Time intercollegiate sports. In announcing the release of its response, the university unconvincingly and patronizingly claimed that “the question is whether the matters raised by the allegations meet the jurisdictional, procedural and substantive requirements of the NCAA constitution and bylaws—rules that govern athletics, not academic quality and oversight.”
The UNC mission is “to serve as a center for scholarship, research, and creativity.” As UNC’s numerous investigations and initiatives attest, Big Time sports undermines that mission. Instead of questioning the legitimacy of the NCAA to concern itself with academic quality and oversight, here’s what I hope UNC would say to the NCAA about athletics.
“Twenty years of fraudulent classes involving 3,000 students, disproportionately athletes, struck at the heart of our mission. We have undertaken wide-ranging investigations, implemented reforms, and held a few individuals accountable. Due to all of the compromises inherent in Big Time sports, we doubt, however, that the NCAA is capable of administering the appropriate penalties. Because athletics is ultimately about wins and losses, UNC will impose on itself the only meaningful penalty. We will forfeit all games involving any athlete who was enrolled in any of these fraudulent classes. In order to be perfectly clear that academic cheating in the sports enterprise is unacceptable, we are using the definitive sports measure–wins and losses—not only to hold ourselves accountable, but to model—or teach, if you will—the appropriate action that the NCAA and other universities should take.”
— Lew Margolis.