We’ll always have the Harricks.

So, I’m reading an interesting NYT article about whether schools should allow sports majors.  As the piece goes from weighing the pros to the cons, I hit this sentence – “A major sticking point is the illustrious history of academic fraud that long predates the University of North Carolina scandal.” – and had the sudden, depressing feeling I was about to read something I really didn’t want to be reminded of.

Sure enough,

A smattering of universities used to offer courses entitled “Varsity Basketball” or “Varsity Football,” graded on attendance. Coach Bill Snyder of Kansas State — surprise — gave nearly all his players an A, and Jim Harrick Jr. was fired as assistant basketball coach of the University of Georgia; one of the reasons was a final exam he gave to his “Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball” class with multiple-choice questions like “How many points does a 3-point field goal account for?”

Thanks for cheapening my diploma, fellas.  Again.

By the way, since I’m on the “again” track here, let me repeat my deeply held belief that Michael Adams should have burned for this.  Shame on everyone who enabled him.

30 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football

30 responses to “We’ll always have the Harricks.

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    No argument about Adams’ culpability or that he should have been slapped for his involvement in the whole Harrick escapade. Some, even some who visit with us here, keep telling me Adams got a bum wrap. Le affair de Harrick may not have been the worst of it, but it certainly was the most widely publicized.

    Considering Georgia’s…ahem ah….history? with manipulating academics to accommodate athletics it is still simply astonishing to me that the Harricks, and by extension Michael Adams were allowed to even think about this kind of shenanigans.

    I kept waiting for the other name to crop up in the story, surprisingly it did not.

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  2. W

    can i get a basic explanation of Adams’ involvement? Was he told that Harrick cheated and ignored it or did he hire a guy with a sketchy past?

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    • Harrick was Adams’ choice. Georgia did none of the usual due diligence you’d expect for a guy with Harrick’s checkered past (no one bothered to call UCLA or Rhode Island for background info). And when the academic scandal hit, Adams canned Harrick, prevented the team from playing in the postseason… and that was it. Nobody on the academic side took a hit over this.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Reminds me of school presidents anytime their school gets in trouble for NCAA violations. Given the school presidents make up the leadership brass within the NCAA, naturally they go out of their way to protect themselves first and foremost, while conveniently throwing their AD’s, coaches and players to the wolves.

        When is the last time a school president has been even remotely reprimanded for their athletic program committing NCAA violations? Donna Shalala at Miami takes the cake; you have that infamous photograph of her holding a check from Devin Shapiro, yet she’s totally in the clear while everyone else pays the price.

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  3. tbia

    My only problem with the constant vilification of this test is that when I took the then required 5 PE courses at UGA, many of them had questions like this on their tests.

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    • reipar

      I did not have any required PE courses when I went so maybe that has changed.

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    • Yeah, I don’t understand why that was such a huge deal. We were required to take 5 PE courses, and they were Pass/Fail. They were not factored into our GPA.

      My memory is hazy, but I thought the NCAA ramifications involved Harrick Jr. paying Tony Cole $200, and Cole dropped the dime on us by showing evidence of the payment.

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      • watcher16

        Exactly. It was a P/F class. I had an honors seminar with a professor who was close to the situation and from what he told us, Harrick was required to teach some sort of course and was required to give a final exam for this P/F class. It’s not the easiest thing to come up with a written exam for a PE class so it always bugs me when the media brings this up. It’s irrelevant and was a question only created to meet a requirement.

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    • Robby

      Right, I often had teachers put a funny question on tests just for the humor in it, especially PE tests!

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    • ruteger

      I too cringe when I see the Harrick stuff lumped in with schools who made up classes and majors to funnel degrees to athletes. While it was certainly bad, it was (if I still remember the facts correctly) a single 2 hour PE class with 20-30 non-athelete students and two atheletes who were told that going to practice would count as classroom attendance and everyone in the class got an ‘A’. I always thought it was more on the side of a “laugh, shake your head and accept your ridicule” type thing than a “holy crap this person has an actual degree from UNC in African American Studies for which they did nothing to earn it” type thing.

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      • DawgPhan

        That is my take as well.

        I was also under the impression that the NCAA didnt involve itself in cases of classes being too easy. I think that the issue with the harrick situation is that the players didnt actually take the test with the easy questions and still got their passing grades. If they had taken the test, Adams probably still kills the basketball ball team, but from an NCAA standpoint there would have been nothing.

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    • I took advanced weight lifting 3 times. Got credit for wrestling and gymnastics for two of those. But hey, the last two times, the questions were basically the same. Not that my Frat didn’t have the questions already on the first time.

      Mrvos did what he wanted and even Dooley disn’t mess with him.

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      • Russ

        I took regular weight lifting and Mrvos nearly killed me. I’d much rather have had another math class instead. (Okay, not really. Got enough math as it was.)

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        • Dawgfan Will

          Ah, the weight lifting class with Mrvos. Fractured a rib doing the leg press during circuit training. Good times.

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  4. Granthams replacement

    Adams was and is untouchable. $60k graduation party for his son, a Costa Rican mansion, regular trips to England to the “sister” school, his red panty AD choice after getting rid of Dooley (for wanting Leeborn off the board) , etc did not get him burned. Adams should teach a political science class on Teflon PR.

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    • LorenzoDawgriquez

      Adams was to integrity what Finebaum is to journalism. I also remember that he wanted Terry Donahue after Leeburn fired Donnan.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        …which was absurd given Donahue was a west coast guy that had not left the pacific time zone in 30 years. He also and had been publicly retired for 5-6 years at that point. To think that some guy in his mid to late 50’s was going to come into some foreign land and be successful was a long shot among long shots.

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        • 81Dog

          actually, he only wanted Terry Donahue because he was told that Bud Wilkinson wasn’t available.

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          • Chadwick

            Adams and Donohue are two peas in a pod. Donohue lives on Balboa Island, I visit Newport Beach a good bit, and acts like a football god. Sheesh, he’s a sanctimonious prick. Perfect for Adams.

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    • Actually, Adams WAS eventually fired, though it was not described as such.

      What did him in was the med school & the engineering school. He crossed too many Regents over those issues.

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  5. The thing I’ve wondered about the lawsuit against UNC, is were the McCants FORCED into a particular major because they were athletes? Could they have chosen to pursue an Engineering degree if they’d wanted instead of majoring in the sham degree program?

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  6. Cousin Eddie

    Sad thing is, Adams created the mess and used it as a Stick to beat the rest of the Athletic departments with.

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  7. Russ

    Adams should have been shown the door with Harrick. This was after we found out about the extra secret deal he made with Donnan a year before he was fired. Adams was and will always be a pompous ass.

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  8. Bulldog Joe

    Only The Georgia Way would allow a one-hour pass/fail PE class to destroy its program.

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  9. stuckinred

    Harrick was my sisters English teacher at Morningside and the kids loved him!

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