Enrolling star players and keeping them eligible was far more important than their educational needs. Mary Willingham came face to face with that on many occasions. She writes about students who told her that they had never had to write anything before, and students could barely read being taken out of a Basic Writing class and placed instead into one of the classes known to yield easy A grades.
She’s also angry at the deceptive game the coaches play with the athletes they want. “Recruits are told that they will receive ‘world-class’ educations and that these educations, for all their world-classness, will be easily acquired.” That pitch is irresistible to many of the minority students who grow up playing football or basketball, idolizing sports stars, and who think that education is just a matter of occasionally going to class.
One thing Willingham discovered is that many of UNC’s star recruits got through high school without acquiring even fundamental skills because schools allow them to substitute “portfolios” for actual tests. The coddling of sports stars with low expectations starts early and continues on through college.
Athletes are familiar with the saying, “No pain, no gain.” That applies every bit as much to learning as to sports, but the people running Eligibility Uber Alles at UNC did all they could to keep their stars from experiencing any stress over coursework. By minimizing the academic work players had to do, the people involved helped to cheat the players out of educations they otherwise could have had.
The two sides are battling because the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hasn’t disclosed the nine campus employees fired or disciplined for their roles in a scheme allowing fake classes and generous grades over nearly two decades.
The Associated Press and nine other companies filed the lawsuit last month.
North Carolina’s public records law requires state agencies, including public universities, to make employee records available. That includes records regarding their dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons. Campus officials have said the disclosure isn’t required until after an employee has finished appealing the decision.
Gathering Wednesday afternoon, members of the Real Silent Sam coalition gathered to share their response to the recently released “Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” which found that certain classes in the former African and Afro-American Department were created simply to keep athletes grade-eligible.
On Wednesday, however, the coalition’s mission was more about the structure of the university as it rallied to “reveal ways in which our university participates in the ‘American’ system of white supremacist, heteropatriarchal capitalism and brings our understanding of what it means to be a Tar Heel into question,” according to the group’s Facebook page.
Only on a college campus can such dreck be said, Very Earnest, with a straight face.
Congratulations to Roy Williams.
He has been able to keep a straight face while saying that he had no idea that many of his basketball players at North Carolina were taking sham courses
I am Shocked! SHOCKED!!
More than 3,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according to a report released on Wednesday.