CHAPEL HILL – Outgoing UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp’s comments regarding the athletic hierarchy at colleges and universities, as prescribed by the NCAA and Knight Commission, have stirred controversy in the ongoing conversation of Big Time College Athletics. He says the amount of time he’s had to spend on this topic compared to the funding behind it doesn’t add up.
***Listen to Part 1 of the Interview***
“Athletics has a $70 million budget; the University has a $2.5 billion budget and another $2 billion in the hospital,” Chancellor Thorp says. “So, what’s our of whack here is the amount of interest, and when the amount of interest is distorted in that way, that’s what creates all these weird behaviors.”
He says it’s taken the entirety of his tenure at UNC to realize a simple fact—one of which UNC faculty member and former president of the Knight Foundation, Hodding Carter received with dismay.
“It’s easy for me to say now that it was hard for me to say five years ago and is hard for a lot of people in my role around the country to say, and one is: we have a lot of problems,” Chancellor Thorp says.
Chancellor Thorp says he knew his comments during an athletic panel last week were not going to be happily welcomed. But he says athletic oversight needs to be returned to the office of the athletic director.
“I think they had some very noble ideas,” Chancellor Thorp says. “But, basically if you look at what the Knight Commission said, they said, ‘well don’t trust the athletic directors to trust sports’. Well, what if we had a commission that said don’t trust the dean of medicine to trust the hospital?”
These comments were made during a WCHL News Special with Jim Heavner. Part one of that interview can be heard Friday at 8:30 a.m. on the WCHL Morning News with Ron Stutts and again at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on the WCHL Afternoon and Evening News with Aaron Keck.
The complete special can be heard Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5 throughout the day.