What do Pippa Middleton, Serge Zwikker and Tami Hansbrough have in common? They were about the only high profile celebrities NOT in attendance at the formal presentation of The Martin Report earlier today. ‘Twas a “isn’t that so&so?” buzz throughout the room as the clock moved closer to 10:00 AM… Then “Lady Liberty” Crowder and Uncle Julius became the focus of attention…..
I took AgentPierce (“AP”) over with me so his perspective is sprinkled in here.
PREFACE: If you are a UNC Mess “Birther” nothing you will read here will change your set-in-stone opinion. There are two categories of UNC Mess “Birthers”.
(1) …. is convinced this 50 year old massive conspiracy directly involves every high profile athletic and administrative individual ever connected with the UofNC@Chapel Hill. Therefore the immediate obliteration of all UNC Athletics (and probably the Old Well too) is the ONLY “right thing to do”.
(2) …. are the hard-core Blue KoolAid crowd (aka “The Dickies) who will never believe their own “lying eyes” regardless.
If you are either of the above…. please crawl off into a hole somewhere and molt.
We arrived at The Carolina Inn at 9 AM. My F-150 was the only vehicle without a satellite uplink…. (and with a Rush Is Right bumper sticker). There were nine TV media vans already unloading.
Entering the Chancellor’s Ballroom site of the presentation I was immediately welcomed by the several BOT members who are hard-core BLSays devotees. They eyed AP suspiciously. My favorite lame-duck Chancellor came over for a quick chat. We had not spoken in some time. He looked far less stressed than at our last meet.
AP got an email from his buddy N&O Editor John Drescher beseeching him to “Come Back AP…. Come Back”. As he showed it to me I noticed The N&O’s Woodward & Bernstein (aka Dan Kane & Andy Curliss) setting up on “media row” and chatting with UNC BOT Chair Wade Hargrove.
AP and I introduced ourselves to Dan & Andy who were awestruck to actually meet THE AgentPierce. Wade just shook his head and grinned like a Cheshire Cat. Dan and I got into a debate over which one of us has been called the most obscene names. I won when I pointed out that a sizable % of both UNCers and ABCer despise me, while only UNCers despise Dan. He conceded the point. Wade kept grinning.
We moved back to preserve our seats up front and Lord Luv A Duck who sashayed up but The Fabulous Comparato Twins – Nicole & Paige. Yeeee HA! Nicole is an editor for the Daily Tar Heel and Paige was her assistant de jour. So now you’ve got me, AP, and The FCTs in the middle of a room filling up with faculty squirrels, UNC admin flunkies, general Chapel Hill who-whos, and dozens of slobbering media-types…. and Chansky walks up.
Art’s eyes were popping out indicating he wanted to meet The FCTs. I did the intros and he promptly asked them if they were “interested in getting into show biz” and handed them both his card. I shot Nicole the “he’s OK” look.
Bubba The Real AD observed that scenario from across the room and shot me the “hi” sign. He and Steve Kirscher were scoping the room. But we weren’t done yet….
Prince Tassel Loafer (aka Dickie The Putz) came in with his long-time consigliere Jack Evans. Now we had pretty much everyone except Pippa, Serge and Tami. The meeting began……
You’ll read the complete transcript plenty of places including PDFs of the formal report. I won’t bore you with that.
After opening remarks by Chairman Wade…. the presentation began by Governor Jim Martin and some gal from Baker Tilly that I immediately labeled “Ugly Betty” from the TV show of the same name. She probably has an IQ over 200 but was on the other end of the looker spectrum from The FCTs for sure.
I was pleasantly surprised by Jim Martin. Despite being well into his 70s he was quite sharp, organized, coherent and in command of his thoughts. No oatmeal drooling AT ALL. He used just the proper amount of homespun humor to defuse the seriousness of the occasion. He exuded the “yeah, I’m old but don’t let that fool you” manner of a cagey country lawyer. I liked him.
Again, I’m not talking to either gang of birthers now.
The investigation did conclude without question that THERE WAS “LOIC” – “Lack of Institutional Control” in that Julius Nyang’oro and his henchgirl – Deborah “Lady Liberty” Crowder – did indeed run an academic scam thru the AfAm Dept that goes back well into the 90s. Apparently no one could / would catch Julius & Deborah because UNC’s department heads are somehow immune from any upline administrative scrutiny. If thats the case “why have Deans?” This did not reflect well on UNC.
That Julius was AfAm Dept Chair for almost 20 years allowed him (and Deborah) to establish quite the impenetrable (and crooked) fiefdom. Most institutions limit dept chair positions to 4-5 years to prevent such power bases from being formed. Why doesn’t UNC?
Was Julius allowed free rein because UNC is obsessed with Affirmative Action? Questioning the integrity of a black professor (with ACLU connections) simply wasn’t going to happen? Was Julius exploiting his “reparational immunity”?
WHY did “the AfAm Bonnie & Clyde” do it? No one knows because Julius is hiding in deepest darkest Africa and Deborah is incommunicado. This investigation did not have subpoena powers. The SBI does.
Deborah Crowder had acquired the nickname around campus as “Lady Liberty” after that credo on the Statue of Liberty:
– “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses …. (and your power forwards, point guards and linebackers”) …. yearning to stay eligible. Send these to me and I will guide them thru the golden door.” ….. Uh oh.
As soon as Martin said that, AgentPierce whispered to Chansky – “And there’s the sound bite to be heard from Murphy To Manteo”. Art groaned and nodded.
Alas, Dickie was not boiled in oil. Roy was not castrated and the Helms banner continues to flutter in the DD rafters all of which remain in place. Kenan’s greensward has not been salted.
The findings of The Martin Report WILL be delivered to the NCAA. Could this admission of LIC lead to more punitive action against UNC Athletics? Yes, it could. Should it? I can appreciate the ABC POV that it certainly should.
Have other schools been penalized for comparable or less malfeasance? I think so.
There was also some lively discussion of UNC’s unofficial policy on “whistle-blowing”. When a UNC department underlings smells something fishy from his/her up-line what can they realistically do that will not be career suicide? The consensus seemed to be that “That’s a good question. We need to work on that”.
The BOTers got to ask any questions they wished to Martin and Ugly Betty. That Q&A lasted about 30 minutes and most of their questions were NOT softballs. Barbara Rosser-Hyde did NOT ask “about recruiting” this time.
The issue of admitting individuals with 3rd-4th grade reading skills was brought up relative to Mary Willingham’s recent bombshell revelation. That matter was left unresolved. The Americans with Disabilities Act was cited as “why it’s hard not to admit them”…. and once they are admitted “it’s near impossible to flunk’em out”. ???
The issue of rampant “grade inflation” received significant discussion. It was agreed that “it” definitely exists at UNC (as well as lots of other places, it was noted). BOT Don Curtis asked if he might have his C’s from the 50s changed to B’s. Ugly Betty deferred that one to Chancellor Thorp.
Don’s comment notwithstanding, everyone in the room (200+) could sense that no one in authority was treating this lightly or simply as some annoying media-fueled inconvenience to be quickly dispatched. Nope, sorry angry mob but that ain’t the case.
I attended the media grilling session immediately following the presentation. My new BFs, Dan Kane and Andy Curliss got in a few gotchas. Even Nicole zinged some chin music at Jim Martin. The “media hounds” were scrounging for any red meat that might be available. Names like “Roy”, “Dean”, and “Butch” were not mentioned directly but referred to obliquely. No fingerprints or other DNA evidence was presented as regarded those three.
The Martin Report absolutely reveals embarrassing realities for UNC-CH and for those who are concerned with UNC-CH’s past-present-future reputation. Was the parading institutional emperor ajudged to be wearing no clothes at all…. or simply trailing toilet paper on its shoe?
The embarrassing truth, says this humble observer, lies somewhere in between.
Other ongoing investigations remain ongoing….. we will follow them too.