The University of North Carolina academic scandal will not go away. The latest development has the school facing additional scrutiny from an accreditation agency. A school needs accreditation to receive federal funding, so losing accreditation would effectively close the school. On top of that former UNC football player, Michael McAdoo, files a class action lawsuit claiming breach of contract because UNC didn’t provide a quality education in return for their play.
North Carolina and the NCAA are in a tough position because in their ongoing fight to keep from paying college athletes, they reference that they student athletes are getting an education. Most logical people didn’t believe that assertion, but there was no proof to dispel the notion. Now there is, and athletes will get public sentiment on their side in their quest to get paid.
According to CNN, a report found 18 years of academic fraud at UNC. 18 years constitutes an institutional cover-up. The worst part for the NCAA is that they investigated UNC, but missed this. In 2010 there was a scandal that was supposedly just about receiving improper benefits from an agent, but in hindsight it seems that the improper benefits were a cover-up for academic fraud.
Marvin Austin was a defensive tackle for the UNC football team,who got dismissed from the team in 2010. The story was that his punishment was for taking improper benefits from an agent, but during the investigation Austin’s transcript leaked, and that showed that Austin took a senior level writing course as a freshman even though his high school test scores showed he needed a remedial writing course. It was easier for the school to admit to having student athletes taking money than to admit to the full truth. Education was not a priority at North Carolina, but it wasn’t just the football team.
Roy Williams had a great reputation because he was there with UNC legendary basketball coach, Dean Smith. Williams initially escaped the academic scandal unscathed, but now his world is crashing down around him. Rashard McCants seemingly out of nowhere did an interview saying that he took fake classes to remain eligible during the 2004-2005 season, which the Tarheels subsequently won the NCAA championship. At the time it seemed that he was upset that his NBA career stalled, but now it seems there may some validity to his words.
The new information brings into question the school’s accomplishments with their legendary basketball team. It also brings it question the school’s priorities because their actions prove that academics aren’t a priority. They couldn’t have taken the allegation seriously because the players didn’t. The UNC basketball program had to suspend star PJ Hairston for the year last year. With this type of allegation hanging over the program, one would think that the school would be extra careful to insure no additional transgressions, but they weren’t, which says a lot.
University of North Carolina isn’t the only school that uses suspect practices to keep players eligible, but they are the ones who got caught, so they will pay the price. The NCAA has to make an example of them if they want to continue the charade of student athletes.