Paul M. Barrett’s article today, “Four Blunt Points About UNC, College Sports, and Academic Corruption,” opens this way:
The powers that be in North Carolina seem unable to accept that the scandal roiling Chapel Hill has become ground zero in a national debate about how big-time college sports undermines education. This is a story about the moral foundation of a multibillion-dollar business: Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. That’s why we’re devoting time and energy to it at Bloomberg Businessweek.
I wrote at Right Angles about the scandal and the troubling way UNC was treating whistleblower Mary Willingham: “Hear no evil, see no evil, proceed?” The news over the weekend was even more troubling. As Barrett writes,
Much more important, though, is UNC’s transparent attempt to change the topic from undisputed fraud (phony classes, faked grades) to Mary Willingham. The “travesty,” to use Provost Dean’s highly charged word, consists not of one chagrined staff tutor who may—and I stress may—have misinterpreted test results. The travesty is that UNC put athletes in pretend Swahili language classes to keep them eligible. The “unfairness” stems not from Willingham’s desire to come clean after years of participating in a dirty system. It stems from UNC cheating its basketball and football stars out of the education they deserve. And let’s not forget that non-athlete students became collateral damage when they unwittingly wandered into sham classes that did nothing to build their knowledge or skills.
According to a note at the end of the article, “Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg L.P., which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, is a trustee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and sits on its Foundation Board and the UNC Global Research Institute Board.”