January 4, 2014

Tar Heel African American studies scandal

I took a lecture course in industrial and organizational psychology in college, and one student assigned to my study group had just been named the first team All-American quarterback. I looked around for him, but he never seemed to show. Yet, when the grades on the final were tacked up, the QB had scored pretty well, which seemed awfully industrious and organized of him. He must have done a lot of studying on his own. 

From Bloomberg Businessweek:
The Scandal Bowl: Tar Heels Football, Academic Fraud, and Implicit Racism 
By Paul M. Barrett  January 02, 2014
   
The recent criminal indictment of an African American studies scholar at the University of North Carolina sheds dismaying light on how big-time college sports corrupt academics. This scandal, unfolding since 2011, has the potential to destroy a vaunted football program at a prestigious public university.

North Carolina is a modestly above average football program, having gone to a bowl game six times in the last ten years. (The Tar Heels have traditionally been a famous basketball program instead -- Michael Jordan, for example, was a Tarheel.) What do you think happens at really good football colleges?
The impact could be—and ought to be—far broader than that of the Penn State child-rape debacle.

Don't bet on it. Mr. Barrett should review his Journalism 101 notes on the distinction between Man-Bites-Dog and Dog-Bites-Man stories.
That’s because the deceit in Chapel Hill points to more systemic weaknesses than the failure in University Park to stop one monster coach who preyed on little boys. And the Tar Heels fiasco adds race to the toxic mixture of athletics and rank hypocrisy. 
Last month a grand jury in Orange County, N.C., indicted Julius Nyang’oro for defrauding UNC by accepting payment for teaching a no-show course on “blacks in North Carolina.” The 19 students in AFAM 280 were current or former members of the Tar Heels football team, allegedly steered to the phantom class by academic advisers who sought to help elite athletes maintain high enough grades to remain eligible for competition. AFAM 280 was one of dozens of courses offered by North Carolina’s African & Afro-American Studies Department, formerly chaired by Nyang’oro, that never actually met, according to investigators. Known for rigorous academics, North Carolina allegedly operated a Potemkin department since the late 1990s. ...

Back when Rice U. was mediocre at football despite being the smallest Division I school, it had a Commerce department whose courses were restricted to scholarship athletes. Then, the the school got rid of the mysterious football players' department and the team got really bad, winning just 7 games during my 4 years at Rice.
The scope of the apparent wrongdoing defies belief.

Not mine.
One investigation by a former governor of North Carolina, James Martin, found that as many as 560 unauthorized grade changes were made, often with forged faculty signatures. Nyang’oro, a native of Tanzania who ran the Afro-American department for 20 years, even though he frequently spent extended periods of time overseas, has refused so far to explain himself publicly. His criminal defense lawyer says the disgraced professor didn’t violate the law and is being used as a scapegoat.

The notion that Nyang’oro was defrauding the university for the last 20 years by doing things like not holding classes for some of the most talked about (and largest) individuals on campus sounds funny enough to make the "scapegoat" charge highly plausible.
... The university’s provost, James Dean Jr., told the Times that UNC couldn’t have anticipated or detected Nyang’oro’s 14-year-long reign of fraud. “Universities for a very long time have been based on trust,” the provost said. “One of the ramifications of this is that now we can no longer operate on trust.” 
That’s laughable. I predict that further investigation will reveal that the fraud reached deep into the Tar Heel athletic hierarchy and that senior academic officials will also turn out to have been at least aware of improprieties. Now that he’s been indicted, Nyang’oro has an incentive to tell prosecutors who knew what he was doing and who encouraged him to do it. ... 
• Implicit racism colors this entire episode. One of the most horrifying aspects of the exploitation of high-level college athletes, especially football and basketball players, is the vastly disproportionate impact on African American “students.” Too many black athletes with unrealistic dreams of NBA or NFL stardom arrive on campus unprepared academically and are allowed to depart with little meaningful classroom education.
Walter Byers, the first executive director of the NCAA and now a critic of its practices, has described the “plantation mentality resurrected and blessed by today’s campus executives”—painful words, carefully chosen. Would UNC have tolerated the thorough undermining of an entire academic department other than Afro-American studies? Hard to picture. Could Nyang’oro and those who presumably aided and abetted him have come up with course titles any more likely to please skeptics of black-oriented scholarship? 
The first three classes confirmed to have been fraudulent, according to the News & Observer, pretended to offer students training in the Swahili language. An old-time Carolina Klan member couldn’t have conjured that detail in his most virulent daydream.

The Gaussian distribution says that about 5/6ths of African-Americans have IQs below 100. Should the best athletes among that 5/6th be denied a chance to play football or basketball beyond age 18 just because the genetic lottery that dealt them a winning combination of brawn genes wasn't so generous with the brain genes? On the other hand, should they be hanging around academically-oriented college campuses?

I knew a black kid who was an amazingly bad high school student. He couldn't sit still in class -- he'd be up on top of his desk dancing. But as a cornerback, when the opposing team was marching down the field for the winning touchdown and the defense was crumbling into chaos, he'd become the calmest individual on the field, locked in on the quarterback's eyes and stepping in for game-saving interceptions. He got a "scholarship" to some HBC like Alabama A&M, which seemed nice.

But Alabama A&M doesn't have a lot of rich alumni desperate for cornerbacks, so larger versions of this kid are constantly being recruited to state flagship universities.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

UNC's big problem was that they were HONEST about all of this.

And also that their Chancellor at the time, Holden Thorp, is a closet conservative, which made him just that much more of a eagle scout choir boy with the deer-in-the-headlights paralysis when confronted with all of this wrongdoing [in the midst of these football scandals, Thorp ALSO had to fire a hugely popular ex-quarterback, Matt Kupec, who had become a phenomenally successful fundraiser for the universtiy, and his mistress, Tyler Hansbrough's mother, Tami Hansbrough, when the two of them were caught bilking the taxpayers out of the travel expenses for their romantic junkets all over North America].

Esse quam videri and whatnot.

Anonymous said...

Studint-affletes.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you've stayed with this fiasco, mostly because my favorite posts are always the ones where you critique situations at the intersection of sports and public policy.

For my money scandals like this, and the minor panic over concussions, offer the best (albeit faint) hope of re-orienting college football back into its proper place in campus life (as a fun diversion rather than the purpose of existence).

-SonOfStrom

Anonymous said...

Kupec better hope Psycho T stays in the NBA for a while he is precisely the kind of person who would beat up mom's bf if he had nothing to lose.

Anonymous said...

Sort of funny that a Tanzanian was heading Afro-American Studies department.

Anonymous said...

Just noticed the new Recent Comments widget on the right. I think that's good. iSteve has a great comment section. Casual readers will now be more likely to check it out.

Canadian Observer said...

Future world powerhouses like China are fortunately not encumbered with all this student athlete nonsense.

"Our gang of uneducated negroes is better than yours! Nah nah nah nah nah"...

Why do Americans waste their time and energy watching football? I don't get it. It seems like a gigantic waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how they'd be able to deal with this issue honestly without crippling the major NCAA sports. Since the major NCAA sports are such huge businesses and a major source of entertainment and culture for many people, it'll never happen.

Bert said...

"Why do Americans waste their time and energy watching football? I don't get it. It seems like a gigantic waste of time."

Lots of folks like watching gigantic men try to crush other gigantic men. It's the same reason underground fights were so popular in Victorian England.

Anonymous said...

Why do Americans waste their time and energy watching football? I don't get it. It seems like a gigantic waste of time.

Personally, I'm not all that crazy about what football has degenerated into during the era of unlimited substitution, especially regarding the freak show disparity which has opened up between the 350lb linemen and the 150lb skills guys.

I'd love to see football return to its roots, with essentially no substitutions, players playing on both sides of the ball [offense and defense], close to 60 minutes a game, and calling their own plays [without having a coach send in the plays from the sidelines].

If you returned to those rules, then you'd get a whole lot more mid-sized guys, who weighed about 220lbs, with IQs up around 110, and a whole lot fewer freak show athletes, with IQs down around 90 or 85 or 80.

And the game would slow way, way, way down [it would quickly come to resemble more of a 5000-meter steeplechase, rather than a 100-meter sprint], which, in combination with actually enforcing the rules against "spearing" and "forearm shivers", would go a long way towards ending the concussion problem.

Anonymous said...

Universities for a very long time have been based on trust

Seems like that university was a high-trust environment.

Perhaps no more.

Bobby said...

I was freshman at Texas A&M the only year they won the Big 12. I took an intro to Geology class in the Spring with over 200 students with assigned seating. I got assigned to sit next to the best receiver on the team. We BSed on the first day of class waiting for the prof. Really nice guy, and his hands were the size of the pull up desk.

He never sat in that desk again. The class only had 4 exams for the grade and those were the only days he came back. He'd hand in his filled out test to the prof and leave.

Heard plenty of stories like that from friends there and other TX schools. Currently one of my dad's good friend's kid knows one of the U of TX players, who told them about how they are getting paid. SMU really got screwed over 30 years ago.

ScarletNumber said...

It is worth noting that noted scholar and Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor is also a Tarheel.

Anonymous said...

When I was in high school the best football player was a black kid. Natural athlete. He was also as smart as a bag of rocks. Got a scholarship though....

Mr. Anon said...

"The recent criminal indictment of an African American studies scholar at the University of North Carolina sheds dismaying light on how big-time college sports corrupt academics."

You know how I knew the corruption involved the African American studies department? It's called the African American studies department. AA departments aren't beset by academic fraud. They are founded on it.

"That’s because the deceit in Chapel Hill points to more systemic weaknesses than the failure in University Park to stop one monster coach who preyed on little boys. And the Tar Heels fiasco adds race to the toxic mixture of athletics and rank hypocrisy."

Yeah - race - that's toxic, not like pederasty.

"“Universities for a very long time have been based on trust,” the provost said."

Yes, on trusting people not to blab.

notsaying said...

With each passing year, it seems that the farther away young gusy stay from competitive football, the better off they'd be.

The gain just doesn't seem worth it, now that kids in elementary school get involved.

How many horus are spent on football for a a moderately good player with big dreams (or parents and coaches with big dreams) who starts at age 8 before they even leave high school?

The game quickly becomes the equivalent of a part time job for the younger kids and a fulltime ones for the older ones.

We have no right to expect these players to be full time students and full time athletic workers.

If we calculated the numbers, wouldn't the amount of money (and other rewards like scholarships and freebies) made by NONPLAYERS in football-related activities of all kinds, amateur and professional -- and I mean any income coming directly or indirectly from football -- be much more than that made by the players?

Mr. Anon said...

"Canadian Observer said...

Why do Americans waste their time and energy watching football? I don't get it. It seems like a gigantic waste of time."

It is. Of course professional sports in US used to just be a harmless entertainment. However in the last thirty years or so they have become an anesthetizing obsession - the opiate of the masses.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

......Thorp ALSO had to fire a hugely popular ex-quarterback, Matt Kupec, who had become a phenomenally successful fundraiser for the universtiy, and his mistress, Tyler Hansbrough's mother, Tami Hansbrough, when the two of them were caught bilking the taxpayers out of the travel expenses for their romantic junkets all over North America]."

That's a rather stunning tale of corruption. The kicker is that the mother/mistress had done the same sort of thing at another school where her son was playing basketball. What would be the basketball analog of a stage-mom? A court-mom? Or, rather, a court-mom with benefits.

Anonymous said...

>>"North Carolina is a modestly above average football program, having gone to a bowl game six times in the last ten years. (The Tar Heels have traditionally been a famous basketball program instead -- Michael Jordan, for example, was a Tarheel.)"


UNC also has the strongest WOMENS SOCCER program in US. The Lady Tarheels have won the most NCAA soccer championships over last couple decades.

From the great Mia Hamm to current Women's National Team players the USWomen's National Team is always well represented by UNC alumnus.

Anonymous said...

From the great Mia Hamm to current Women's National Team players the USWomen's National Team is always well represented by UNC alumnus.

That's UNC alumnae.

cthulhu said...

In the '80s and '90s, Dallas/Ft Worth sportswriter Blackie Sherrod (the "dean" of the area sportswriters) would only half-jokingly call for the return of single platoon football (i.e., very limited substitutions) in college, specifically to make it much different from the NFL game, and force the NFL to set up its own farm system instead of relying on the colleges to fill that role. Barring paying the players, it's the best solution I've heard of...

Anonymous said...

the USWomen's National Team is always well represented by UNC alumnus

Ahem, it should be "alumnae."

beta_plus said...

Little kids getting raped does not impact the academic reputation of members of the Cathedral who got their degrees from Penn State, of which there are many if you ever bother to take a look around Georgetown during football season.

Academic fraud does impact the reputation of Cathedral members' degrees, which may mean the hammer of the feds may come down on UNC. Then again, maybe not. Surprisingly few Tar Heels end up working in the DC Metro area.

anony-mouse said...

All of these ethno-cultural departments (not just African-American studies, sorry folks) are academic frauds.

Most of the students in say, 'Group X' Studies are members of 'Group X' so how can they get anything other than an A? Which is what happens.

So some academic fraud tried to rip-off an academic fraudster.

Sort of like 'The Sting', but with ivy.

Dave Pinsen said...

Single platoon football would shift the demographic profile of the sport closer to that of soccer.

Dave Pinsen said...

"Why do Americans waste their time and energy watching football? I don't get it. It seems like a gigantic waste of time."

For the same reason that people watch most sports: they have the time and it can be hugely entertaining. And even when it's not hugely entertaining, it can still be diverting, because you don't know how it's going to play out.

I spent a week once laid up in a hospital where all I could do to entertain myself was watch TV. I couldn't focus enough to read, and my hands were too swollen to work a laptop or a smart phone. You watch that much TV and you see how predictable so much of it is. But not sports.

kaganovitch said...

Steve, Tommy Kramer was a pretty bright guy so its not out of the question that he really did study industrial psy on his own, but on balance unlikely I guess

Anonymous said...

I was recently directed to the obit of Frank Snowden, a professor http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/21/AR2007022101989.html

Interesting reading especially the part about him having a dim view about Afro Studies. This is remarkable since he was black and taught at Howard University.



David said...

Watching sports can be great. I'm stoked by ultimate fighting particularly when two bantam weight hispanics are going at it.

Shawn said...

I have never understood the sports enthusiasm so many guys have....I can see how college football serves as a substitute for wars (this is good)...I just don't see why so many guys are into it....

And even more so I don't understand how guys when where a jersey with another man's name on the back...it seems a little pathetic; but, evolutionary speaking, it did not hurt to worship the name of your king or leader (not doing so could get a man killed)...so maybe this is a carry-over from that.

Anonymous said...

I have never understood the sports enthusiasm so many guys have....I can see how college football serves as a substitute for wars (this is good)...I just don't see why so many guys are into it....

Actually, increasingly, many guys simply are NOT.

If you troll the bowels of the sports forums, you'll see that the internet is actually rife with stories of big-time college football [and basketball] programs whose student sections routinely fail to seat to capacity, often with thousands of student tickets going unused.

The white kids know it's all a fraud, and - the phenomenon of Selachimorpha * caenosus notwithstanding - increasingly the whites are checking out altogether, and focusing their attention on stuff like the Winter X-Games and extreme rock climbing and [okay, gouge out my eyeballs with knitting needles for this next one] dressing up like sodomites in spandex and pretending to be Tour-de-France bike riders.

By and large, there just isn't much commonality of experience these days between the IQ 120/130 pampered alter boy Mommy's special snowflake white kids and their IQ 80/70 hired hand black thug counterparts who man the skill positions for the revenue-generating sports teams.

Again, the phenomenon of Selachimorpha * caenosus notwithstanding.

Simon in London said...

Fake courses restricted to football players only beats the hell out of corrupting real courses, in my book. In college in the Southern USA my wife was assigned to 'tutor' a football player, and got in some minor trouble for refusing to do his work for him. Having real students do the work for football players seems far more corrupting of the real courses than just giving football players a pass on a fake course because they're playing football. It's not like they don't more than earn their keep; if anything the typical 20 year old college football player is seriously undercompensated at what may be the peak of his career. They should be properly paid. But they need to be kept away from the real students.

DYork said...

Implicit racism colors this entire episode. One of the most horrifying aspects of the exploitation of high-level college athletes, especially football and basketball players, is the vastly disproportionate impact on African American “students.” Too many black athletes with unrealistic dreams of NBA or NFL...

That's the most horrifying part?? So the numerous cases of interracial rape by entitled, arrogant black male athletes is relatively trivial.

Would UNC have tolerated the thorough undermining of an entire academic department other than Afro-American studies? Hard to picture.

Would UNC have even tolerated the existence of a White American Studies Department? Hard to picture.

An old-time Carolina Klan member couldn’t have conjured that detail in his most virulent daydream.

Great, so the Harvard educated Jewish boy Paul M. Barrett has to work in a gratuitous reference to the Klan in a story about a Southern University dominated by Obama loving White liberals.

Anonymous said...

I also spent some time trying to translate "Jungle Fever".

"Fever" is Febris - that's pretty straightforward - so that e.g. "Typhoid Fever" is Febris Typhoidea.

But it looks like the Romans never got far enough south to see a true "jungle":

jungle: harundinetum, harundineti; arundinetum, arundineti
reed-bed; thicket/jungle/growth of reeds/rushes (L+S); stubble (Vulgate);

obsitus: overgrown, covered (with)

incultus: uncultivated (land), overgrown; unkempt; rough, uncouth; uncourted;

dumosus: overgrown with thorn, briar or the like;

So from the botanical point of view, about the best that you can hope for is something like "Fever of the impassable marsh overgrown with reeds", which sounds more like a description of something which a centurion would catch in classical Mesopotamia or modern Bangladesh.

At the risk of botanical/ecological incorrectness, the root word "lustrum" might work, although the beasts in question were probably more like lions or boar roaming wild in the forests and bogs of far-northern Germania and Britannia:

lustrum: purificatory ceremony; period of five years;
slough, bog; forest, wilderness; haunt of wild beasts;
den (pl.) of vice, place of debauchery; brothel;


Nowadays, though, the original sin of which the young damsel needed to be cleansed seems to have been completely forgotten.

Maybe because the very thought of that sin was so horrifying that it was simply unmentionable in polite society?

And so the Romans and their successors conveniently allowed themselves to forget why the purifying was needed in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"UNC's big problem was that they were HONEST about all of this."

Are you kidding me? I've been following this scandal for a couple of yeaars now and UNC has lied, lied, lied the whole way. They've told the truth only when they had no choice. Even now, they're trying to say all the shenanigans of the past 20 years were caused solely by Nyang'oro and Deborah Crowder.

I'll be surprised if anything comes of this--it's not in the NCAA's interest for folks to look under the hood, since the kind of stuff going on here goes on almost everywhere else in major college sports.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it should be more like "Selachimorpha * caenosae"?

I dunno any of that declensional stuff.

To the vulgar eye, it certainly looks a lot better as "caenosae".

Anonymous said...

I find women's beach volleyball to be the most exciting sport of all. The recent Olympic match between two twenty something Americans and two Chinese steroid abusing PLA members was more exciting than Rocky III. When the Americans won the gold I felt a strong urge to trash my hotel room in celebration.

Eric said...

Steve, he wasn't called Two-Minute Tommy for nothing.

Anonymous said...

As a guy who made cash money and all the beer I could drink writing papers for dim hockey players at a private Northeastern school, I say make the athletes take real courses. That way the real students can make money from the athletic spoils system.

The Dude said...

"I spent a week once laid up in a hospital where all I could do to entertain myself was watch TV. I couldn't focus enough to read, and my hands were too swollen to work a laptop or a smart phone. You watch that much TV and you see how predictable so much of it is. But not sports."

In short, (1) if you do not have the mental capacity to read and (2) you are physically crippled and/or cannot do anything productive, and (3) you cannot bear the company of your own thoughts, then watch football!

Which also explains why the LAST thing prison wardens would consider removing is the TV in the day room.

Anonymous said...

There is an easy solution to the problem, stop pretending and create minor league football teams.

Alternatively let football players major in restaurant management, construction trades, retail sales, home health aid, ect. Or even let the players operate the team, launder uniforms and whatever to prepare them for a career in sports entertainment. Maybe Hamburger University could pair up with a 'real' university.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

• Implicit racism colors this entire episode. One of the most horrifying aspects of the exploitation of high-level college athletes, especially football and basketball players, is the vastly disproportionate impact on African American “students.” Too many black athletes with unrealistic dreams of NBA or NFL stardom arrive on campus unprepared academically and are allowed to depart with little meaningful classroom education.

Exploitation, huh? Do the idiots that write this have any idea what the alternatives are?

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a graduate of another ACC school, the consensus among us is that UNC will get off scot free. UNC wields enormous power within its conference, and with Duke, Wake and NC State form a power bloc known as the "Carolina Mafia". They control the direction of the conference. It's why the ACC will never catch up to the other major conferences in football (those four are basketball schools first and foremost) much to the chagrin of "football" schools such as FSU, Clemson, and Virginia Tech. UNC also wields disproportionate influence in the larger college sports world, and with the sports media (ESPN), hence the belief that nothing will come of this scandal.

Anonymous said...

"Would UNC have tolerated the thorough undermining of an entire academic department other than Afro-American studies?" If the author were a little more familiar with American academia he'd surely be aware that "X Studies" departments (where X=black, wman, chicano, etc., etc.) are invariably cess pools of sub-par faculty and students conspiring with one another to maintain a mutually beneficial racket providing high incomes to trhe former and phoney credentials to the latter. One of the many sins committed by Larry Sommers when he was president of Harvard was actually calling a "super star" in that university's Black Studies racket to task for that professor's failure to perform in an intellectually competent fashion.

Prof. Woland said...

My almost 90 year old aunt has lived in the Durham area her entire life and for years has proudly claimed to part of a popular club called ABC, Anybody But Carolina.

a Newsreader said...

Anonymous said:
Personally, I'm not all that crazy about what football has degenerated into during the era of unlimited substitution, especially regarding the freak show disparity which has opened up between the 350lb linemen and the 150lb skills guys.

I'd love to see football return to its roots, with essentially no substitutions, players playing on both sides of the ball [offense and defense], close to 60 minutes a game, and calling their own plays [without having a coach send in the plays from the sidelines].

If you returned to those rules, then you'd get a whole lot more mid-sized guys, who weighed about 220lbs, with IQs up around 110, and a whole lot fewer freak show athletes, with IQs down around 90 or 85 or 80.

And the game would slow way, way, way down [it would quickly come to resemble more of a 5000-meter steeplechase, rather than a 100-meter sprint], which, in combination with actually enforcing the rules against "spearing" and "forearm shivers", would go a long way towards ending the concussion problem.


This would be interesting. However, I don't think anything like this could happen through reform.

Perhaps such a game could become popular through a grassroots approach. I remember reports of Harry Potter enthusiasts at various college campuses playing Quidditch (with heavily modified rules). Many colleges also have club-level rugby teams. I wonder if there could be enough interest in old-fashioned football on college campuses to form informal clubs.

I'd bet they could attract a sizable hipster following just by using leather helmets and long-sleeved striped sweaters as uniforms.

Joseph Moroco said...

"Why do Americans waste their time and energy watching football? I don't get it. It seems like a gigantic waste of time."

For most people, figuring out how to occupy their time between birth and death is a horrible burden.

Anonymous said...

Watching sports can be great. I'm stoked by ultimate fighting particularly when two bantam weight hispanics are going at it.

Why? Because either way you get to see a Hispanic get beaten up you sick creep?

Anonymous said...

As a Brit I find this whole thing absurd. Why the hell are universities enmeshed in a professional sport? Does anything comparable happen anywhere else in the world?

Kids at British universities play all sorts of sport but its just a diversion. Its mostly informal games within and between colleges. The Oxford-Cambridge boat race is about the only example where anyone in the outside world takes any notice at all.

Anonymous said...

Football was (maybe still is) really big in small-town America, other parts of America as well. Often described as almost a religion, the football season being the biggest thing on the social calendar of a small town. It wasn't just the game, but all the other stuff as well. The cheer leaders, the pep rallies, the school spirit sticks, the town team's mascot, marching band participation, homecoming, ... All this results, later on, in following the game.

I've heard (but don't know for a fact) that this was originally by design starting maybe around 1920. It assisted assimilation and swept-up would-be troublemakers. Football provided a way for high-school students from all backgrounds and different ethnic groups (english, german, polish, irish, etc.) to form a common school identity and provided a high-school bonding experience that was immediate, unavoidable, and often overrode ethnic identity. The high-school football culture (not just the football team) provided a common school-wide American assimilation experience.

Gringo said...

This is just one more example showing that big-time NCAA sports are generally incompatible with the purpose of the university: to learn.

From what I have read, sports programs take 20-40 hours a week out of a student athlete's time. This is the equivalent of a half time to full time job.

I tried working full time or half time while going to school for a STEM degree. Couldn't do it- too tiring for me. For my last two years of college, I didn't work while taking courses and concentrated on the 60+ hours of class and study time necessary to complete my program.

Any student athlete who is a real student deserves a lot of respect for juggling such time demands.

You occasionally read about the football player- usually a lineman- who is an engineering or pre-Med major, but they are few and far between. Genetic rarities, in many ways.

Athletics and study are not necessarily incompatible. Some degree of exercise can actually help studying. I could not have gotten through my 60+ hours of study a week without running 3-5 miles a day. After exercise helped clear the cobwebs out of my brain,I could study with renewed vigor. But one hour a day for exercise is different from 4-8 hours.

pat said...

I'm surprised that no one else has commented so far on the author's contention how this incident demonstrates 'implicit racism' and characterizes the black crypto-students as victims.

The black professor ran the fraud and all the students who participated in the fraud were black and yet somehow it was all 'white racism'?

Barrett seems to be automatic journalism. If a black is involved - he's a victim. If a white is anywhere around - everything bad is a result of 'white racism'.

The real scandal as far as I'm concerned is that someone like Barrett is paid for this sort of guff.

There is one area however in which the black kids are victims. They are pro players but pros who are paid under the table. So they are working for a sub-standard wage while risking full value injuries. A black teen who might be worth millions in the pros but blows his knee out a a fake college player is a true victim. I don't sympathize with real professionals making a fortune who have career ending injuries. But I do sympathize a little with kids who aren't being paid their true value to pose as college students.

I guess I'm old and cynical. I'm not shocked that the scholarship black athletes are dummies who are paid under the table by the alumni, have tutors who take their tests for them and who enroll in many fake Black Studies classes. I went to a lot of colleges and universities and none had big sports programs but even then at a relatively non-sports schools everyone knew or assumed that the football players were fake students attending fake classes and earning fake degrees.

I told someone once that my father went to Alabama on a football scholarship. She immediately assumed that he had been an idiot. That was probably over a half century ago so this item isn't late breaking news.

I agree that college sports are deeply corrupt but it is a traditional and comfortable kind of American corruption.

BTW I personally have never understood the attraction of college football. People who buy theses expensive cable TV college football packages strike me as very odd birds. Now high school and pro football make perfect sense to me, so maybe I'm a bit irrational myself.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

the whites are checking out altogether, and focusing their attention on stuff like the Winter X-Games and extreme rock climbing and dressing up like sodomites in spandex and pretending to be Tour-de-France bike riders.

Maybe more emphasis on individual sports rather than team sports.

Anonymous said...

"I knew a black kid who was an amazingly bad high school student. He couldn't sit still in class -- he'd be up on top of his desk dancing. But as a cornerback, when the opposing team was marching down the field for the winning touchdown and the defense was crumbling into chaos, he'd become the calmest individual on the field, locked in on the quarterback's eyes and stepping in for game-saving interceptions."

Sheeeet, he be like Ali. Out of the ring, Ali can never shut up and he be talking and acting like a fool all day. But in the ring, he could be calm and cool while George Foreman be raining blows down on him and strategizing to fell the big negro.

That be the Negro paradox. When Negro be around order, he be flipping. But when he be around action, he be focusing.

So, get rid of all the desks and chairs in the Negro classroom. Have the Negroes all get up and dance and boogie and move their body to the lessons that be lectured in rap rhymes that Negroes be like. Notice how rap is both chaotic/crazy and orderly(in rhymes and rhythm).

So, blacks should be taught classes through dance and song, moving and swaying, twerking and jerking.




John said...

It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If they didn't falsify grades for da afletes, they'd fail at high rates, and we wouldn't want any disparate impact, now would we?

Anonymous said...

the kid you knew had ADD probably. On something he cares about, football, he can focus like a laser beam, and on something he doesn't, school work, he can't.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps is we dropped scholarships altogether and instead fielded teams of student athletes from each university, and let the hired thugs go play in a new minor league of the NFL, that would help. I doubt attendance would drop much, and expenses would drop a lot. Maybe schools could afford to field more teams like swimming, gymnastics and wrestling. They always claim they have to drop them due to financial reasons, then give the football team new uniforms for each game.

Students and alumns would identify with the student athletes representing their universities much more than the mercenaries now on the field. Seems like a win win.

Mr Lomez said...

Note Barrett's rhetorical gymnastics here. He pretty well exemplifies how most mainstream media deals with stories whose facts upset the PC fantasy (on the rare occasion they're willing to deal with these stories at all).

Step 1) Acknowledge wrongdoing by minority/minority group.

Step 2) Use passive language to express shock and disbelief that this kind of behavior "could be allowed" to exist.

Step 3) Make sure to acknowledge the true culprit: Implicit Racism

Step 4) Remind readers that if they believe this story confirms their worldview in any way, they're probably Klan members.

Anonymous said...

"...by design starting maybe around 1920 ...

... The high-school football culture (not just the football team) provided a common school-wide American assimilation experience."


This might be a relevant book:

"The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Control, 1880-1930", Robert Pruter, 2013, Syracuse University Press:

"...high school sports became the arena by which Americans fought for some of the most contentious issues in society, such as race, immigration and Americanization..."

"...through to the government takeover of athletic associations in the 1930s. ... exploration of the ways in which the ideals Americans hoped to instill in future generations---hard work, fair play, team building---were challenged..."


Americans developed a probably naive attitude toward universal education as the solvent capable of making Americans out of anybody. (And maybe, just maybe, it could have, if they were always isolated individuals introduced at an assimilable rate.) But this required more than just "book learning". It required some form of out-of-class acculturation and team bonding, something emotional and itself cultural. High-school sports, in particular football, provided this.

These high-school sports thus became part of the core American culture, in particular football. (High-school football involves much more than just the football team; it typically includes things like weekly pep-rallies during school hours; these are often by far the most common events in which all students participate.)

Somewhere along the line sports became the tail that wagged the dog. The system got gamed, schools and coaches got in it for the money, the small town found itself investing everything in football...

Anonymous said...

The real scandal here is that a prosecutor would waste time and money pursuing this nonsense and, even worse, actually plans to bring charges and ruin lives for no reason. Things like this have been going on since college athletics began in the 1890's, and everybody who follows sports even casually knows it. If a kid wants to play football or basketball, and the school wants him to play, too, why shouldn't they both make that happen? It does no harm to anybody.

Anonymous said...

I do think some of the people in this discussion should consider the positive effects of college and pro sports. College sports give marginal potential students with a combination of poor genes for intelligence and bad schools a shot.

Is it worth it for white America and for the country as a whole to give tens of thousands of angry, testosterone-filled youths something to aspire to other than race riots and perpetual unemployment? Why are you all so mad that strangers are being offered the opportunity to play a game in exchange for the chance to get an absurdly expensive education?

Sure, most of them will squander the chance, but a lot won't. This is essentially a leveling opportunity and wealth-transfer scheme that is paid for entirely on a voluntary basis, by paying fans of the sports in question.

I would be fascinated to learn if anyone has ever really studied the class implications of college sports. (Of course this is purely anecdotal, but...) I have met and worked with successful African-Americans who parlayed a college scholarship into jobs as diverse as lawyers, doctors, accountants, and (a lot of) mid-level state bureaucrats.

How much better off would I be if they never got a college degree? Not at all. What has it cost me? The cost of a game ticket every couple of years and sitting through commercials a few afternoons a year. In other words, it costs me close to nothing.

Sure, these guys got a small advantage over me and mine, in that they got full scholarships to college instead of having to pay full freight. I'm a lot less mad about this than brain-dead WASP and Jewish legacy students from the north-east oligarchy ensuring perpetual economic dominance over the rest of us through the use of the Ivy League as a necessary gateway to the ruling class. Those people have had their heel on the neck of middle America basically forever, but we're supposed to be worked up over some dumb kids and dumb professors gaming the system? Nah.

Cail Corishev said...

"College sports give marginal potential students with a combination of poor genes for intelligence and bad schools a shot."

If that's the goal, we could accomplish that better without sports. Just require that colleges admit a certain number of low-IQ students, basing the choice on other attributes like community service, references, and so on -- extracurriculars other than sports. Offer them a remedial educational track and vocational training, with strict requirements on classroom attendance and grades for continuing the scholarship.

All that could be done without setting them up as kings of the campus and funneling lots of money to them illegally so it can be used for illegal things, having other students do their academic work, and constructing elaborate lies to ourselves about what they're doing there. If you want to offer education to some "disadvantaged" kids, fine; but college sports is an especially bad way to do it.

Anonymous said...

"If that's the goal, we could accomplish that better without sports."

In a different, better run country we could. In this actual country, we all know that a larger commitment to education in the service of social mobility would inevitably and almost immediately turn into a much bigger race-based affirmative action.

College sports as it's run now is a big business that tricks a tiny handful of soon-to-be millionaires into financing college educations for thousands of their cousins. It also finances white suburban kids' scholarships to do things like womens' soccer and college baseball.

Eliminating or substantially changing college football gives you immediate effects of making college more expensive for some white kids' families, and unobtainable for many black kids. All of this so a few athletes get to start wasting NFL money at 18 instead of 20.

David said...

I second what Corishev said. He beat me to the punch on this.

I would add only that helping the country isn't the agenda of most of the people who boast of how their approval of college sports helps .001 percent of an ever-growing lumpen to become millionaires in exchange for their health. It is sometimes the case that such people are making a lot of coin out of societal corruption, and will defend it in the teeth of any sensible proposal.

Changing the subject to make a general remark: the Roman Colosseum was a prelude to the Dark Ages.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Gwene Berman said...

Steve:

An acquaintance of mine by the name of George Dawkins taught at Rice for some years. Did you know him? (He died in an auto accident in Spain about 10 years ago).

E. Rekshun said...

College football is making coaches and the entire coaching staff very wealthy. At the large state schools, the coaches make $1M - $4M, with the staffs earning $100K - $1M. It's a bit hard to tell where all this salary money comes from - state budgets and/or the athletic association and/or the alumni association. But the states are sure on the hook for much of the costs of benefits, FICA, and high-dollar pensions. Not to mention the cost of all the ancillary administrative and other jobs that go to supporting the college football team. So, I guess, college football employs a lot of people.

keypusher said...

From the article comments:

Specifically, the Carolina Alumni Review points out that Dr. Nyang’oro, the
professor (and department head) at the center of the AAS athletic scandal, was
employed by the University as a faculty member in 1988. Nyang’oro
became the chair of the curriculum at issue in 1992. The Carolina Alumni Review
also points out that Nyang’oro was the *first* and *only* department head.

As a matter of deduction, that means that African American Studies as a
curriculum was created in 1992 when Nyang’oro was designated the first and only
chair.

In 1992-1993, the University of North Carolina basketball team won the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship in New
Orleans finishing the year with an impressive 34-4 record.

The starting line up for the 1993 National Champion Tar
Heels consisted of George Lynch, Brian Reese, Donald Williams, Derrick Phelps,
and Eric Montross.

The curriculum majors/minors for that group are as follows:

Lynch (Sr): African American Studies

Reese (Jr): Communications (minor in African American Studies)

D. Williams (So): African American Studies

Phelps (Jr): African American Studies

Montross (Jr): Communications

It seems worth pointing out that in the first year a curriculum for
African American Studies existed at UNC (1992) 4 of 5 members of the starting
lineup of the National Championship Basketball team immediately majored/minored
in the brand new curriculum with Dr. Nyang’oro at the helm. In just one year,
an almost entire team happened to migrate to one particular, and brand new,
curriculum?

keypusher said...

Second comment in the thread:



Back in the early 90's, the Raleigh News and Observer would report ACC and local basketball teams' average high school GPA and SAT scores.

Here they are for entering freshmen from 1990 through 1994.

School HS GPA SAT
NC State 3.03 943
Duke 2.89 883
Ga Tech 2.59 855
FSU 2.59 852
Maryland 2.67 833
Clemson 2.68 823
Virginia 2.50 835
East Carolina 2.71 813
Wake Forest 2.61 805
UNC-CH 2.52 788

Although everybody else in the ACC had their academic eligibility issues over that period, somehow nobody on those UNC teams ever struggled in that area.


They stopped reporting the data in 1997.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Brit I find this whole thing absurd. Why the hell are universities enmeshed in a professional sport? Does anything comparable happen anywhere else in the world?"

It is absurd - and crazy. Americans are crazy about sports in a way that Europeans are not. Professional Baseball maintains it's own farm-team system for grooming players. The NFL and the NBA do not. They relay on state governments to provide thier farm-teams in the form of college Football and Basketball. It's good for the NFL, the NBA, and the team owners, and bad for the tax-payers who support the state universities, and frequently bad for the college players who sustain injuries, don't get paid, and don't make the pros.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous Moron at 9:29, if you'd ever watched boxing or MMA, you'd know that the best fights with the most action are between two Hispanics of the smaller weight classes.

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