Once again, scandal has reared its ugly head at UNC. It seems that coincidentally 18 UNC football players were all enrolled in the same Black American Studies Class. That in itself might not raise eyebrows, but when lectures were held few and far between, and all the students passed the course with flying colors, red flags should have been flown. But more than a year elapsed before it was brought to the attention of the administration indicating a total lack of oversight. And now UNC has asked the State Bureau of Investigation for a probe into possible criminal activity.
And once again the UNC Administration has expressed dismay that something like this could happen within its hallowed halls of academia. But it shouldn’t come as any surprise.
Perhaps with minor variations, athletic misconduct has become a rite of passage at UNC. Athletics and academics are like oil and water. They just don’t mix very well. UNC isn’t the only university that has been plagued with improper benefits and academic misconduct involving athletes. Ohio State, USC, Alabama quickly come to mind.
Not long ago 14 UNC football players were either dismissed or received game suspensions for violating NCAA rules. In addition, an associate coach was terminated for allegedly receiving payoffs for steering athletes to an NFL agent. Though not charged with any wrongdoing, head football coach Butch Davis was dismissed by Chancellor Thorpe.
There has to be something rotten in Denmark when academics has become the sacrificial lamb to big time, money-making college athletics. Either we change the winning-is-everything culture, or we make a mockery out of this vaunted institution of higher learning called UNC.