NCAA investigates a tiny tree in a mighty forest

The recent revelations concerning the NCAA investigation of the UNC-CH football program provide yet another example of how far below national standards NC operates wherever politics rears its ugly head. And make no mistake, politics has converted what used to be a fine university system we could all support into a money machine for political insiders.

The University was established to serve the people of North Carolina. Somehow it has been converted into a system designed to serve those who run it. Educating students is strictly secondary to protecting the power of Jim Hunt’s followers.

If the press actually reported the news, instead of censoring dissenting opinion and promoting those willing to promote the causes favored by the Hunt-Easley-Perdue team (which of course includes Black, Basnight, Rand and other well known politicos of the insider persuasion) the public would be aware of the extent to which academic integrity has been sacrificed to political expediency.

Recently the McClatchy papers ran a story covering the deep corruption in the SBI. Of course they left out the Hugh Webster trial and the Bridge to Nowhere in Anson County, because they kept their focus on lower level employees and let those responsible, including Hunt-Easley-Perdue off the hook. They even ignored the implications of the fact that an agent who they clearly documented created a false confession is still employed by the agency, as is his immediate supervisor who ignored the agent’s dishonesty.

The lack of integrity at the SBI documented by McClatchy pales beside the operations of the UNC system.

A number of years ago I started writing about the irony of the Democratic Party having a dinner honoring former Governor Aycock given his well documented racism which even extended to disenfranchising thousands of black voters. I was pleased to hear the Democrats were thinking of dropping Aycock’s name from their annual dinner until I heard the suggestion it be renamed to honor former Senator Jeanne Lucas. Lucas is the person who announced to the Senate that four candidates for the Board of Governors had withdrawn and that if any Senator voted for a candidate who had withdrawn, their ballot would be disqualified.

Her statement that four candidates had withdrawn was a lie. The Democratic leadership may have leaned on candidate sponsors to drop their sponsorship, but I spoke to two of the candidates she named and they had not withdrawn. The election was simply rigged, and that time they got caught.

Why rig an election at that level? And why no complaint from any senior UNC official or member of the Board of Governors? Why so much concern about academic integrity in the football program and no concern whatsoever about the integrity of the highest officials in the university system?

The UNC-CH scandal is quite similar to the Duke Soccer scandal in that the only reason the truth came out was the involvement of people beyond the reach of the political machine that runs North Carolina. If the Duke soccer players charged had been from North Carolina with parents subject to employment threats, I doubt the truth would ever have been told. Similarly, if the NCAA had not been out of the reach of the NC political machine’s influence, I doubt there would be any concern at UNC about how Baddour and Davis managed the football program.

The blog limits of the press limit comments, so this is what I posted after several articles concerning the NCAA investigation of the UNC-CH football program:

I’m truly sorry for the student-athletes and their families and friends. Unfortunately, the major scandal isn’t in the sports program. The only reason it is getting attention is that the national exposure means it can’t be covered up, unlike the majority of UNC scandals.

Why was an emergency meeting called to anoint Tom Ross? Was it to avoid questions about his involvement in using UNC as a political base for John Edwards and Andrew Young, among other misuses of the UNC system for political purposes? If the major papers actually reported the news, as opposed to spinning it to protect the Hunt-Perdue-Easley team, the scandal in UNC athletics wouldn’t be such a surprise.

When will we see a report of how the elections to the UNC Board of Governors have been rigged? The revelations about NC State that came out as a result of the Easley hearings are trivial if you follow the money.

Leave a Reply