BIG Sports Illustrated SLAM re: TGU

March13/ 2015

Sports Illustrated has a loooong article out Friday on UNC’s TGU. An SI writer / UNC alum from early 80s does a “what happened to my once-wonderful Alma Mater !!!!

All the sordid details we’ve all memorized PLUS some new sordid details you may not be aware of. Set some time aside… it is a VERY long article.

I wonder what story UNC / SI alums Larry Keith, Sandy Treadwell and Curry Kirkpatrick would write ????

How Did Carolina Lose Its Way….??

“It’s very sad,” said Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic Jonathan Yardley, UNC class of ’61 and father of two Chapel Hill alums. “I have hanging in my home office a framed Distinguished Alumnus award that the university was kind to give me about 25 years ago. It’s always meant a lot to me. But I look at it now and think, Jesus, do I really want that on my wall?”

How? Slowly, by all accounts. The imperatives of sports and academics (What takes priority, the road trip or the test?) have been clashing nationwide for a century, even at Chapel Hill. As Samuel Williamson, vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1984 to ’88, told Wainstein, “Every time we closed the barn door, the athletics department built a new barn.”

“So,” Reed says, “we were admitting guys who had a lot of trouble reading and writing, and they were taking courses like Arts and Crafts for Elementary School Teachers. They learned how to make turkeys out of pinecones. But the classes met. Some [players] even graduated. ……. You were admitting students with some sort of vote of the faculty committee—stacked, to be sure, but they were approved. It was a charade at times, but it was within the rules.”

The author was at the Dean Memorial Service, when Roy pointed a raised finger in the air….. It was a salute, I guess, beyond disgust and rage, an appreciation for the ideal if not the execution. Williams turned away, but some fingers remained raised 10, even 15 seconds longer before dropping, before the truth of the last years finally took hold. The games would go on. But it was over.

When my son chose to go to UCLA, I muttered, “Good.” Sending one more dollar to UNC felt too much like endorsing an academic crime spree—as well as the UNC administration’s inadequate response. Years of stonewalling, spin, reports and “retirements” had left an impression less of true reform than of erosion, a reputation in retreat,


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