Teaching the controversy… or not

An alert reader passed this little nugget on to me:

More than 40 members of the history department objected to administrative interference in Professor Jay Smith’s History 383 course on the history of big-time college sports and the rights of athletes in an open statement sent to the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences Friday.

The faculty said that despite media reports that department chairperson Fitz Brundage made the decision to cancel Smith’s class on his own, they believe Brundage was actually under pressure from the College of Arts and Sciences to prevent students from learning about the University’s recent scandals.

“In the absence of any other credible explanation, we believe that the College took this action to block broader understanding of the recent scandals in UNC’s major intercollegiate athletic programs and other violations of legal, moral, and academic standards in the history of modern college athletics,” they said.

The faculty said Smith is a recognized authority on the subject of his course and was “clearly…singled out for unprecedented and adverse scrutiny.”

Obviously, if there isn’t a class on the subject, then none of the students will ever know it happened.  Sheesh.

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25 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., ACC Football

25 responses to “Teaching the controversy… or not

  1. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    Two hundred fake classes, over the course of 15 years, for which UNC student-athletes received full credit for literally doing nothing. I truly don’t understand why UNC hasn’t received the death penalty (or whatever the equivalent is these days) for this.

    National media is uninterested and the NCAA seems to be trying to stall long enough in the hope it all just goes away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HVL Dawg

      “Two hundred fake classes.” Stop right there and evaluate what you apparently believe is true. Where did this “fact” come from? The NCfreekingAA Notice Of Allegations? Or did you just read it on Bleacher Reports. Oh, well it must be true.

      In the words of Roy Williams, “Don’t be a double idiot.”

      My daughter graduated from UNC two years ago, and beginning her junior year her advisors started putting her in no-class classes. Independent study. Research a topic, write a series of papers, meet with the advisor, get a credit.That is a big thing at UNC for typical students. Why is it impossible to imagine that athletes can also do it?

      The NCAA doesn’t have jurisdiction over the academic standards of a class. UNC is academically accredited by other institutions. If athletes took a class at UNC and achieved a degree, the NCAA (and Greg “the genius” Sankey) can’t come in and say the athlete didn’t attain a degree from UNC. Only UNC can give a degree from UNC.

      It is fair to question UNC’s academic reputation in light of this true scandal. But the NCAA can’t overstep its authority. And at the end of the day, do you really want to compare UNC’s academic reputation with that of other (your) schools?

      Like

      • DawgPhan

        I believe that the concern stems from the players not actually writing any papers and still getting the grades. the ncaa doesnt care about the quality of the education but merely that the work is done and counted.

        Write a paper, get a grade. No violation.

        Dont write a paper, get a grade. Violation.

        Like

        • HVL Dawg

          UNC’s position is that the players satisfied UNC’s academic requirements (admitted by UNC to be pathetic) but NCAA has no jurisdiction.

          Now, if the NCAA has evidence the players didn’t do satisfied the requirements, they haven’t shown it.

          Like

          • Minnesota Dawg

            Oh, UNC’s “position” is to attempt to cover its ass using a technical distinction about it’s admitted academic fraud? Wow, how surprising considering how forthcoming and honest the administration has been. UNC’s admissions just so happen to come as a result of repeated journalistic exposure of what a sham education many athletes (and perhaps some non-atheletes) were getting. Hopefully, your daughter wasn’t one of them. With all due respect, if my son or daughter had an affiliation with UNC, I’d be angry as hell towards the administration for forever (rightly) staining the academic reputation of the university, rather than advancing their own weaselly defense of (now) acknowledged misdeeds.

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            • ASEF

              Nonsense. The university cleaned house, and the new administration commissioned the independent investigation that provided a complete accounting of the scandal. The media had nothing to do with it. Alumni and stakeholder pressure had everything to do with it.

              The media was – and remains – fixated on Roy Williams, despite the fact that Kenneth Wainstein repeatedly said he found no evidence to contradict Williams’ innocence. Wainstein exposed shocking failures on the academic side, especially oversight, but those were long suspected. Wainstein provided definitive proof.

              The NCAA is the one bowing to media pressure here. And for the record, the media exposed nothing in this case. Everything was self-reported and self-investigated by UNC. The media speculated endlessly, with the most shocking “revelations” proven to be complete falsehoods. You can say that responding to that media pressure – to get the real story out so that the fake ones could be put to rest – pushed UNC, but there were zero contributions from investigative journalism in the final tally.

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              • Minnesota Dawg

                Right. This is a great summary of UNC’s CYA position. Remind me again as to when the Wainstein investigation was commissioned. Oh, years AFTER numerous academic “irregularities” were known internally and finally exposed by the media? Yes, yes, very pro-active.

                You also fail to note that the Wainstein investigation found that the UNC athletic department’s academic “tutoring” program basically prompted and drove the academic fraud. Hey, seems like cheating to anyone without UNC blinders on! But no, wait…since these sham classes designed for the purpose of keeping athletes eligible weren’t exclusively used by athletes this isn’t an athletic issue, but an academic issue! Got it! Now please go away NCAA.

                Yea!!! Go Heels!!

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                • ASEF

                  Name one thing exposed by the media. One.

                  UNC first reported the courses to the NCAA in 2010 as part of the Marvin Austin investigation. UNC went through a 3 year process of removing the Chancellor, Provost, AD, and numerous other leadership posititions. When that was complete, they commissioned Wainstein – solely because UNC stakeholders felt there could no closure with hearing from Crowder herself. UNC brokered a deal where Crowder would be given immunity from the Orange County DA in return for cooperating with Wainstein, who UNC ok’ed to cooperate with the NCAA during his investigation.

                  Those are all facts.

                  The media speculated endlessly about the courses, but most of those speculations were proven ridiculously fraudulent. Key players on the accuser side, the “sources” for those speculations, suddenly clammed up when a former federal investigator started asking the questions rather than credulous reporters.

                  Those are also facts.

                  As for UNC’s position with the NCAA, it’s the exact same position Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, and Michigan used to walk away from similar academic irregularities (in kind, not scale). It’s not some novel new theory regarding NCAA jurisdiction.

                  UNC got rid of damn near everyone, threw itself at the mercy of SACS, and commissioned the Wainstein Report at a time when they fully could have let the media hounds howl at the moon until the next scandal came down the pike. And there were a lot of people (Blutarsky being one of them) who said that any university who commissioned a Wainstein type report was just shooting themselves in the foot. No one was under any delusions that the report would make any friends in the media or that the report would make the media situation any better. If media had been driving that decision, the decision would have been, “Go pound sand, we’re done here.”

                  Like

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Shhhh. Somebody might hear about this.

    Like

  3. Macallanlover

    Scandalous for sure, but is it larger than the overall bastardization of “student athletes” in college sports which we ignore daily? I am no Pollyanna about this, but we are well beyond a little fudging here, although it may have started that way. And the holier-than-thou schools, like GT and ND, who tout their purity have mucho stinky on themselves as well. UNC was considered one of these “education first” blue bloods as well at one time. Only the Ivy League schools and Service Academies have much cover on this subject, imo.

    Like

    • Cojones

      What? Moi? are the questions asked by us all when the shit hits the fan. Cross our fingers we don’t get embarrassed again too soon and have to read the embarrassing test questions asked of Bball players at UGA. The NCAA didn’t seem to back away from that as well as going further and revealing the simplistic “test” Qs. Thank goodness at least one person got a color tv out of it or it would have been a total loss of face.

      I feel badly for friends who are quite aware of the academic excellence at UNC and UGA.

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  4. Cojones

    That’s some kinda’ History Dept at UNC. And they don’t feel that the College of Arts and Sciences acted politically correct? Arts over Science isn’t really new lately, but jeez.

    Glad I eschewed the B.S. in favor of the B.A. as an undergrad.

    Like

  5. ASEF

    Poor Jay Smth. He thought the scandal would make him rich. Now he can’t even get students to sign up for his courses.

    Jay started an S-corp with Mary Willingham to process profits from their book and other scandal-related products. When Mary’s claims turned out to be less than credible, it all went poof.

    He’s literally an expert on French fairy tales. And somehow he presents himself as an education expert. Because, you know, he teaches and stuff.

    Fun fact: Jay was the Arts and Sciences administrator in charge of making sure all courses taught on campus had syllabi, course descriptions, and other I’s dotted and T’s crossed when the paper courses were at their height. Whoops.

    He’s been at war with UNC for years, including throwing his academic credentials behind Willingham’s “research” – which 3 education experts independely of each other confirmed was pure hokum, bad math on top of bad methodology.

    The scandal was really bad, but cheap and incompetent opportunists like Smith tried to turn it into something it wasn’t. Almost all of the major claims he made in his book – the primary text for his course – are contradicted by the existing record or independent reviews. The ones that aren’t are simply too thinly sourced to prove one way or the other – anecdotes.

    Again – I am not defending the scandal, just pointing out that Jay in this context is the academic equivalent of a looter in the wake of natural disaster – and defending himself by claiming he was just trying to help clean up the mess. Yeah, right, Jay.

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  6. MarvinAustin@yahoo.com

    UNC-CHeats.

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  7. uncway@mail.com

    “The university is operating like a crime family, and it shows the lengths to which they will go to protect their athletic machine.”

    Administrators finally commissioned a thorough report by Kenneth Wainstein, a former United States assistant attorney general, in 2014. The dimensions of the scandal he unearthed were daunting.

    He reported that 3,100 students had received one or more semesters of lousy instruction and that poor work found reward in high grades. Student athletes, particularly those from the “revenue sports” — basketball and football — were steered to these poor or nonexistent courses, and in some cases, they were told they could sleep in class.

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    • HVL Dawg

      How can you get “lousy instruction” from a class that is independent study? How can you sleep through a class that doesn’t even meet? Geeze.

      The scandal is for the high grades for crappy work- a subjective standard. The “crime” would be if the tutor wrote the term papers.

      I smell a Wolfpack fan.Even Dukies are better than this. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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      • The Dawg abides

        You’re probably right. A Wolfpack fan at the Times has it out for UNC. I bet the former assistant attorney general is a Duke fan though.

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        • HVL Dawg

          I hate to tell you this, but New York Times writers hate all sports fans- including you and me. And they particularly hate whomever is a newly crowned champion.

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          • The Dawg abides

            No I believe you. Thanks for clearing up the the investigation for me. So what you are saying is this is much ado about nothing. One big damn conspiracy conceived and executed by jealous rival fans, the NYT, the NCAA, a former U.S. assistant attorney general, and most major sports media outside of Chapel Hill. Got it.

            Like

            • ASEF

              Powell’s article is with numerous inaccuracies. “Alternative facts.” And here’s the thing: this was bad enough that alternative facts are not even required

              Lazy click baiting

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            • HVL Dawg

              I’m saying the same thing the school is saying: Everything in the Weinstein Report is true and the NCAA has no jurisdiction to sanction.

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            • ASEF

              Explain how these courses are different than credit hour PE courses taught by an Asst. AD and available solely to varsity athletes. Stanford has dozens of them in their course catalogue.

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          • Maybe so but I don’t see any facts about that comments. Do you have examples of them doing something with intent?

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  8. 81Dog

    Isnt this basically the same thing Cadillac Williams was doing at Auburn? “Independent study” where no one was actually checking if he actually did the assigned work.

    UNC: The AU of the ACC?

    Like