Big talk from Greg McGarity:
“If you see it, you own it,” said McGarity, who took over at his alma mater in August 2010 after serving 18 years as Jeremy Foley’s right-hand man at Florida. “No matter what it is, from a piece of paper on the ground to somebody breaking the rules. If you see it, you own it, and if it is serious you are obligated to report it up the chain of command.”
No doubt he’s sincere. And no doubt he reflects a general consensus among his peers (at least I hope so). But let’s face it – being concerned about a Jerry Sandusky is easy. Nobody wants to be seen as empowering a monster.
But how about turning some of that worry about the chain of command to something a wee bit harder, eh? Something like, oh, say, this.
There’s another college sports scandal largely going unnoticed this summer. It’s not as horrific as Penn State. What could be worse than that?
But North Carolina’s academic scandal is a big deal. And it could be bigger if it becomes attached to Roy Williams’ basketball program.
Concealing the rapes of boys presumably (hopefully!) doesn’t happen often in college sports. Yet a big reason why that duplicity occurred is similar to why large numbers of North Carolina athletes attended bogus classes.
Keep the athlete eligible or a coach/administrator employed. Keep the school’s image intact while trying to win games. Keep printing money through the college sports machine.
I think Solomon’s kidding himself if he thinks Penn State grabbed all the oxygen in the room such that we don’t hear much about what’s unfolding in Chapel Hill. The reality is that academic scandals sprout like weeds in the college football world. Some brief attention may get paid to one thing or another, but they all wind up fading when the weather turns cooler.
But he’s spot on about the rest. Just as much as what we saw at Penn State, academic scandals are about letting athletic departments have too much say over school management. (And just like at Penn State, some of what occurred at North Carolina may violate state criminal laws.)
So, what say you, Mark Emmert and your band of merry men? Is it culture changing time again?
I’m not holding my breath. Like I said, condemning a serial child rapist and those who enabled him isn’t hard. Lifting the curtain to assign blame for college football’s sausage making is. Just ask someone close to us.
Georgia president Michael Adams, a former member of the NCAA’s Executive Committee, has made some unpopular moves concerning athletics in his time at Georgia. He forced former athletics director and Hall of Fame football coach Vince Dooley to retire in 2004. He was the force behind the hiring of basketball coach Jim Harrick, who he later fired due to NCAA violations.
But Adams has shown a zero tolerance approach to coaches or employees who behave badly. When athletics director Damon Evans, Adams’ hand-picked successor to Dooley, was arrested for DUI while with a woman who was not his wife, Adams immediately fired Evans…
Don’t you love the way Barnhart finesses that academic scandal? Sure, Harrick got fired. But does anyone remember that the only people who paid a price for the school turning a blind eye to what Harrick Junior was doing were the basketball players who weren’t allowed to play postseason ball? They got sacrificed on Michael Adams’ altar. But the administrators who allowed the situation to fester suffered not a whit. That’s the approach that makes this quote from McGarity so laughable: “It has to start with presidential leadership. If you have a president who has his priorities in order there is less of a chance that something like this [Penn State] could happen.”
So don’t count on Sheriff Emmert riding out again to clean up our fair town. Child rapists, beware. The rest of you folks undermining college sports? Keep the noise down, or they might have to issue you a citation.