“Our Friend” Mary re: Academic Fraud in College Sports

    Mary Willingham
    BobLee
    October27/ 2015

    “Our friend” Mary Willingham co-authored a Point of View on Academic Fraud in College SpMary Willinghamorts in the 10/26/15 edition of McClatchy’s Raleigh newspaper.   The same one that employs “That Damn” Dan Kane…. coincidentally also “my friend”

    Am I the only guy on Earth who claims Mary Willingham, Art Chansky, TDDan, THE Bob Kennel and BubbaTheRealAD as “my friends”.   Talk about “eclectically di-verse” !!!   “Trainwreck” Fennebresque and “Z. Smith” Tom Ross are NOT “my friends”.

    I was familiar with much of what Mary and “Gerald” say here, but was NOT aware of shenanigans at Lafayette.  Were you?   I know every Fall Lafayette plays Lehigh but ESPN has yet to have GameDay visit either campus.

    Big Time College FB / MBB is:

    ….dirtier than Bill Clinton’s daydreams…. more corrupt than Al Sharpton’s tax returns…. and more self-righteous than Pablo Escobar’s autobiography.

    If you simply refuse to believe that, keep putting teeth under your pillow and checking for quarters every morning.

    ###

     

    Point of View: In college sports, academic fraud acceptable collateral damage

    By Gerald Gurney
    and Mary Willingham
    •    http://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article41474562.html
    •    https://twitter.com/share?text=Point of View%3a In college sports%2c academic fraud acceptable collateral damage&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.newsobserver.com%2fopinion%2fop-ed%2farticle41474562.htmlMary Willingham

    The integrity of higher education has been hijacked by big-time college sport. Last January, Jonathan Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president for enforcement, revealed that an astonishing 20 cases of fraud were being investigated and that academic cheating and fraud in athletics were at an epidemic level.
    …..The most widespread and systematic academic fraud scandal in NCAA history dating back to the Dean Smith era at the University of North Carolina awaits a hearing before the Committee on Infractions.
    ….New allegations detailing academic fraud scandals have emerged at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and UCLA. College presidents, their celebrity coaches and athletic administrators each reap millions of dollars from the spectacles of football and men’s basketball and seem to be bracing for the next academic scandal.

    College governing boards, boosters and fans seem to tolerate academic fraud scandals in big-time college sports as acceptable collateral damage for bragging rights of beating their rivals.

    …. They wager that their school will be spared public humiliation from an unlikely NCAA investigation.
    …. Yet the potential loss to the reputations of the universities pales in comparison to their failure to adequately educate football and men’s basketball players. These predominantly young African-American men are the principal contributors to the college entertainment industry that pours billions of dollars into university coffers. …..Under the illusion of a tax-exempt educational mission, universities hire academic advisers housed within athletic departments who funnel often underprepared athletes into specific academic majors, seek out curricular soft spots and engage in schedule engineering.
    …. Yet NCAA President Mark Emmert insists that college athletes are given an opportunity for a “world class education.” A closer examination of the state of big-time sport reveals that the opportunity is a hoax.

    One hundred years ago, just nine years after the birth of the NCAA, the president of Reed College, William T. Foster, wrote about the clash between academic and athletic cultures. He observed even then that the aims of college athletics are “to win, make money & gain notoriety.”

    …. The stakes to win are, of course, now even higher, and stories about academic cheating from fake classes and bogus majors have never before been made so public. Gaming the educational system to maintain athlete eligibility has become an essential activity sanctioned by university administration. Many leaders of higher education have failed in their role as stewards of their institutions by sacrificing academic rigor and integrity for the potential revenue and notoriety for their colleges derived from winning teams.
    …. Rather than strive to provide all athletes with a meaningful education designed to equip them with productive futures, universities hand out useless degrees that diminish the value of the degrees for all students at the institution. Those who should care the most about the product of higher education, our university presidents and faculty members, are failing our students and our future.
    …. Providing a quality education for all athletes has been sacrificed for a tribal fanaticism for college athletics. College presidents and admissions directors will point out that sports provide access to African-American males who are underrepresented in the general student population. They reason that the experience of being at the university is an improvement of their life experience. Many are admitted to highly selective institutions without a reasonable chance of success in the classroom. Only about half will leave with watered down degrees, while many leave with nothing but broken promises and sour memories.
    …. Faced with academic fraud at epic proportions, the NCAA has proposed legislation to redefine the term, preferring to rename fraud as academic misconduct and mitigate its impact on institutions. Judging from the list of allegations of wrongdoing at UNC-CH, the NCAA appears to consider gross fraudulent grades and course credits as an impermissible benefit of monetary value rather than gross violations of ethical standards. Perhaps academic misconduct sounds less frightening than fraud.
    …. While the NCAA is often accused of inconsistency and arbitrariness in its enforcement, this new approach to redefining and policing academic fraud is a pathetic smokescreen. The athlete is not a beneficiary of benefits but the victim of a cruel prank. To deliver on the promise of a meaningful college education for all athletes, the NCAA should re-evaluate its eligibility standards for academic preparedness, continuing eligibility, athletic time commitments and the practice of embedding athletic academic services within athletic departments.
    ….. Most important, university presidents need to address the glaring conflict of interest that structures college athletics today. As Foster wrote in 1915, universities must acknowledge the “sharp and almost complete conflict” between the educational purposes of their institutions and “athletics conducted for business purposes.” Without radical change, the fraud of college sports may persist for yet another century.

    .

    .
    Gerald Gurney is an assistant professor of adult and higher ed at the University of Oklahoma and president of the Drake Group. Mary Willingham is a former learning specialist at UNC-CH and co-author of “Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes and the Future of Big-Time College Sports.”

     

     

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article41474562.html#storylink=cpy

     

    ###

    BobLee
    • Bob Reply
      4 years ago

      Tribal fanaticism says it all. Nice read from Mary. I have a different take on JV. He worked his whole life to achieve a great tourny run in 83. He had the chance at that point to finally recruit nationally. He chose the lazy way out. You just could not overcome Washburn. I know he kicked him off of his final 8 team in 85. He may well have won it again with him, kid was that good. It was a shame because Jimmy was a rock star, camera loved him, and he was a fun coach to watch. I thought the 30 for 30 said it correctly, he brought in some kids and thought he could fix them. Once he finally had the chance to pick and choose by way of 83 , he should have made better choices. Oh and he was hammered because he was not graduating players in contrast to handing out degrees at UNC. Either way State would probably be in the same boat as UNC without his firing.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        He, JV, was a special character for sure. I think he has to be viewed in two separate phases – (1) before the cancer diagnosis – (2) after the diagnosis / then in total. Without the cancer, he leaves NCSU after the scandal for a 10-15+ year career in the NBA in several major markets with solid success then into broadcasting / entertainment. He had a showmanship component that neither Dean nor Coach K have. …. but the cancer fight eventually overshadowed everything else. …. he garners sympathy for the scandal crap because of the gallant cancer battle when one had nothing to do with the other …. but together defined him for history. Fascinating study.

    • 58 Wolf Kennel Reply
      4 years ago

      BL, thank you for the insights on former UNC-CH athletes. Couple of extra points. NC State did learn and persist in academic/athletic “correctness” coming out of the embarrassments of the Jimmy V issues. At the same time the world still does not realize that the Jimmy V issues were not of the same magnitude as what has happened at UNC-CH. Coach/AD Valvano was passionate about education, and most of the several years of junk thrown at him originated with disgruntled and disreputable authors and “news” writers plus a piling on by BOG entities gleefully inflaming the issues. (You can re-read my V book for the smoking gun correspondence.)
      Your other point about most college athletes defending their coaches rather than their “era” was on point. We had the same thing back in the ’50’s supporting the quality of Earle Edwards at the same time UNC-CH athletes were going gaga over the return of Sunny Jim Tatum. Anyway, I think you could add a great deal to this whole discussion by bringing in the thoughts of former athletes about the overall TGU issues. It should be more than embarrassing, and certainly the broader UNC-CH faculty, staff, administration, and Trustee actions are not bringing resolution. (PS: See my 1957 letter to, and response from, Walter Byers of the NCAA in the V Book).

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Sunny Jim was The Butch of his day. It gets lost in the muddle of Revisionist History but Tatum left a trail of broken rules and do-whatever-I-damn-please at both Oklahoma and Maryland. He really did not have time to get “Tatum’s Way” up and running in Chapel Hill. As happened with JV… a tragic death is a wonderful way to steamclean a resume.
        .
        Your spirited defense of Jimmy could apply to spirited defense of Bill Clinton… “picked on by a vengeful media out to get him”. The media can certainly be vengeful and “out to get” those it arbitrarily deems worthy of being “gotten”…. as is likely to happen with Margaret Spellings. Being a high-profile public “celebrity” has its nasty downside for sure. That comes along with all the “perks”.
        .
        I only speak for myself here. If others want to use this forum to express thoughts, as you choose to do, they are welcome to do so. Apparently former UNCCH athletes prefer not to do so. I’m sure they have their reasons. Again – TCW is much more bone-deep addictive than most of “you people” will ever understand. “They” really believe that crap.

    • Bobby Salmon Reply
      4 years ago

      TGU is the gift that keeps on giving. Sean May is now on the MBB Staff. The same Sean May from the 2005 Championship team who said he switched from Communications to AfAm because of all of the independent study classes and the fact that Communications actually required attendance!!! TCW all day long!!! Just how tone deaf is Roy? How could your buddy, BubbaTheRealAD, allow such to take place? If May has a legitimate degree all he needs to do is release his transcript and redact the grades if need be. Will not hold my breath!!!

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Any of several released transcripts from 2005 and/or 2009 would reveal A LOT or reconfirm A LOT. But no one seems inclined to do that…. huuuummmmm. BTRAD doesn’t discuss all his decisions with me, but he probably should.

    • 58 Wolf Kennel Reply
      4 years ago

      BL, most interesting article. However, I must take some issue without it being construed as a “Harrumph !”
      There’s an underlying presumption that almost all the issues are with African-American athletes; that “almost everyone” is doing it (at least 20 schools); and that the “academic support program for student athletes” ASPSA reports into the Athletic Departments. I’m offering NC State as a counter-argument from what I know first-hand for the past 25 years.
      Furthermore whereas UNC-CH has had faculty outliers such as Mary Willingham, Jay Smith, and John Sheldon Reed, I’ve seen a larger number of NC State faculty through the Chancellor’s Council on Athletics who would absolutely not put up with what has happened at UNC-CH over the past 25 years. We learned that through the Jimmy V issues.
      Double furthermore, who are the former athletes at UNC-CH who are fully embarrassed and angry enough to insure TGU gets resolved. I would believe somebody like Albert would be, but who are the former athletes as angry as I am about this. You can bet I would be on a more than visible warpath if it were NC State experiencing such a TGU. Guess I need to check on where J Miggs stands, but you probably have a better feel.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Maybe ya’ll’s experience with the V Scandal gave you a heads-up of several decades in addressing this issue. “Most schools” apparently feel they are “bullet-proof” and “it could NEVER happen here”. UNCCH DEFINITELY fits that description.
        .
        To your question re: Where is The Outrage from Former UNC Athletes? Good question. “Albert” would NEVER be such a boat-rocker! The UNC MBB “Family” is totally “in the tank” to protect DES’ Legacy AT ANY COST. That not a single one of them offered up his transcript to refute McCants confirmed that. One bench player from the early 70s – Don Eggleston – wrote a outraged LTTE a year or so ago. Thats the extent I know of from any MBBer. For ANY of them to cast aspersions at DES or by extension Roy would be akin to Peter denying Jesus in the garden… maybe more so.
        .
        As for UNC FBers… “they” tend to be divided by Eras and which HC they played for. Their loyalty is to their Era / HC. A Dooley walk-on is a current BOT who is/was also a Morehead. VERY sharp guy. We have not talked on “this”. For the most part “they” are either Holacaust Deniers or they “wink wink” in a “well yeah, of course” signal.
        .
        As I said earlier today in another reply… its hard for “you people” to grasp the addictive powers of decades of Carolina Way Kool-Aid. More mind-numbing than black tar (no pun intended) heroin. A scary % of UNCers truly believe they are simply better human beings than “you people” simply “because”. One of several reasons I realized “I just don’t fit in over yonder”. And your comments were NOT a Harrumph. 🙂

    • Todd Lesley Reply
      4 years ago

      There was a brief 2 second mention at Late Night With Roy about there being a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner this year from UNC. Would have been cool to give that more attention. But who buys a t-shirt at Dollar General that says “UNC…Home of The Nobel Prize”.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        If Dollar General is one of Art Pope’s chain of variety stores, I’d say NO ONE in Chapel Hill is your answer.

    • Don Lein Reply
      4 years ago

      I believe the “Lafayette” reference is to University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA, rather than that esteemed college in Easton, PA who routinely for the last 100 years has played the Engineers from Lehigh.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        That would be U-LA-LA !! Thanks. My faith in pretentious small NE colleges is intact.

    • Doug Reply
      4 years ago

      You often reference the chasm between spectators and gladiators. The chasm between academia and athletics seems to be even more contentious. Are there academic board monkeys?

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Sure. Every avocation and vocation has its own board monkeys. Academia’s wear tweed jackets, pretend to smoke pipes and all claim to have been a personal friend of Kierkegaard.

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.