Letter: UNC academic scandal

unc-headerIf any student remained eligible just because he or she took those sham courses should have those grades stricken from their records, and the resulting GPA should be applied. If that made them ineligible, then those games in which they played should be forfeited to the opposing teams. If that grade made them ineligible for graduation then their diploma should be rescinded.
I have been teaching for many years and I steadfastly refuse to change a grade for anyone. Now that I am retired, I offer a tutoring service, and was asked by local college boosters to “tutor” a football or basketball player. What they wanted was for me to write their papers for them. Like many sports college sports programs around the country there are marginally eligible players, although good at whatever sport they play, cannot read or write. I often wonder how they got out of high school. I refused to be a part of that scam and told them to find someone else, apparently they did.
It has been my experience with these kids is that they are just a few steps above street thugs, and get into various difficulties on and off campus: underage drinking, DUI, pot, sexual assault, larceny, etc. Then most offenses get swept under the rug, or mitigated so they can remain eligible to paly. The QB from UF, Harris, is one of these kids, as is the QB from FSU, Winston. If they had not been on the football team, or the Heisman star, they would have gone to jail in any other town. I know, as I currently teach at the local juvenile detention center, and many of my charges have been locked up for the very same offenses, and they wonder why these guys got the free pass. I give them a dose of reality when I tell them that there’s a double standard for jocks.
Another case in point, the officer that graduated from the Army War College, recently had his degree rescinded because he plagiarized his thesis. Cheating is cheating, no mater at what level. Personally I think that UNC should abandon their sports program for a couple years, then field a group of students that can play, and do the academics. There are many good kids who have  gone on to professional sports, and made excellent examples of what a student-athlete should be.
Penalizing the program to the point where it will be emasculated will probably not happen, as these sports programs bring in $$billions to the NCAA, schools, and networks. It’s a sad state of affairs when the head football coach and basketball coach make more money than the English and History departments. Lets hope that other schools take note.
Richard Des Chenes
PO Box 396
Archer Florida 32618
(352) 528-2761
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