Rasputin Won’t Die aka Great Unpleasantness Update

July09/ 2012

I promised an Andy Griffith column today, but Andy isn’t going anywhere.  He can wait a while longer.   Rasputin wouldn’t die and neither will The Great Unpleasantness.   A “new story” hit the street yesterday that is really just a rehash of an earlier story but, of course, it has the lynch mob swinging from the chandeliers.   We better inject a few soupcons of Truth into the boiling cauldron……

Julius Nyang’oro was running an academic fraud flimflam.  He was being paid to teach various summer school courses over a period of at least four years that he did not in fact teach.  Students signed up for those courses were given grades and credit hours for performing no classwork of any significance.   A very high percentage of those students were “student-athletes” (never has that silly term been any more abused)

The above meets all the qualifications for academic fraud.  This is serious.  This is a major embarrassment for the Univ of North Carolina as an institution and for everyone connected to the institution.  

That this fraud was directly connected to enhancing the ongoing athletic eligibility of the student-athletes is an obvious and correct conclusion.

The level of legal malfeasance and/or NCAA malfeasance is to be determined but both are considered quite likely.

This is all moving inexorably towards it’s “end game” on some appointed day yet to be revealed.   The Death by 10,000 Rumors stalks the sports bars, the monkey boards, and the not-quite-so-hallowed-anymore halls of academe in Chapel Hill.  Everyone knows somebody who has heard from someone that (fill in a gory resolution that leaves fired and decaying bodies strewn across the campus of the vaunted flagship.) …. comparing Chapel Hill’s fate to Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an especially gloomy one.

There are more alternative endings to this tale bantered about in the hairshirt community than there are options on a Clue board.  …… “the Swahili professor in the library with a candlestick”

Alas, when dawn’s early light does finally signal an end to these darkest hours – there will be more unrequited expectations and more disappointments than the morning after a high school prom.

The bug-eyed crazies on both extreme ends of this teeter-totter will be disappointed in the outcome.  Both the hard-line “Carolina Way” squirrels and the “We Hate Carolina 24/7” crowd are used to disappointments.  Success doesn’t have their addresses and they’ve always known that.

There will be new characters in the final acts of this melodrama.  Names you have not heard yet will fill in “the who and the how” of the puzzle.   Certainly Julius had co-conspirators beyond “Warren Martin’s girlfriend” – there were acolytes within the Athletic Dept steering the “student-athletes” to Julius.   Their names WILL come out.

Yes, Royz Boyz will eventually be drawn in.  Ol’ Roy’s denial is just Ol’ Roy being Ol’ Roy.  Who else would Ol’ Roy be?

Was one crooked AfAm professor with four faux-classes enough to keep Butcher’s dozens of student-thug-aletes eligible for three years?  No.  Does this mean there are more bodies in the wreckage?  Yep.  Compare the courses and instructors for each of Jennifer Wiley’s Dirty Dozen over their UNC academic careers.  Wanna bet there is an amazingly similarity ??  Ya Reckon ??

The Lynch Mob and whats left of Butcher’s Boyz want the head of Holden Thorp on a spike.  It’s a 98% certainty that ain’t gonna happen.  Knowing what I know, it should not happen.

The #1 mistake that Holden Thorp committed was not getting himself a real Athletics Director four years ago.  Chancellor Thorp assuming that Dickie Baddour had the slightest clue how Butcher was finessing his SEC-level recruits thru UNC’s academic maze was Holden’s fatal flaw.   That was the linchpin that gave the plan the cover-up it needed.  Even had Dickie figured it out, he was too intimidated by Butcher to have ever acted on it.

Both Dickie’s Fabulous Farewell Tour and Julius’ Flying The Coop Without a Perp Walk are controversial and rightly so.   I understand the reasoning behind both decisions and disagree vehemently with both decisions.

Julius is “abroad” now in an African country with no extradition treaty.  Is Julius a low-life lying scumbag?  Yes.  Was Julius “getting something” for his part in the grade fraud?  Certainly.  What?  It could well be Julius’ mysterious Foundation and its generous benefactor.

The Chancellor, the Brd of Trustees and the Brd of Governors were all UNBELIEVABLY naïve to the reality of Big Time College Football.   Were they drunk on the sanctity of the mythical Carolina Way?  Absolutely.  Should they be held liable for their naivete?  Yes, to a degree.  Will they be beheaded for it.  No, they won’t.

Are some of them still naïve?  Yes, some of them will always be immune to the reality of big time college athletics.   It is a world light years from anything they have ever known.  Could they “handle the truth”?  Some can.. Some can’t.

Hannah Gage and Marvin Austin would never be an e-Harmony match.  Enough said.

Are their counterparts at other universities across America equally naïve about big time college athletics.  Yep.  Could “something like this” erupt on any campus in BCS Land.  Sure.  Does that pardon UNC for it happening here?  Not in the slightest.

The wild & wooly conspiracy theories involving 100s of sneaky administrators and eeeevil fat cats plotting and carrying out labyrinthian schemes over decades is simply “how board monkeys came to be called board monkeys”.   Those sad souls wallow in such speculation like pigs in mud.   They fantasize about their hated rivals getting their comeuppances….. and about dating cheerleaders.  Neither fantasy ever comes true.

There ARE several more embarrassing shoes to fall in all this.

500 ABCers DEMANDING swift justice versus one ABCer demanding swift justice 500 times.  Either way, the N&O comment boards get 500 views.  Will ABCers ever stop screeching their hatred of UNC?  They were screeching their hatred of UNC long before Marvin Austin was born.   Nothing will ever stop that.  Certainly not “releasing the 216 phone records”.

Will the scars from this mess ever fully heal at UNC?  Not for a very very long time.  Such is the price an institution pays for reading its own press clippings and a false belief in its own infallibility…. and keeping Dickie around as AD.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being tops….. Going back to Marvin’s first tweet, how has this glorious mess been handled by UNC?  Maybe a 3.  What’s the best anyone could have realistically hoped for?  Maybe a 5.


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