“Our Friend” Mary re: Academic Fraud in College Sports

Mary Willingham
October27/ 2015

“Our friend” Mary Willingham co-authored a Point of View on Academic Fraud in College SpMary Willinghamorts in the 10/26/15 edition of McClatchy’s Raleigh newspaper.   The same one that employs “That Damn” Dan Kane…. coincidentally also “my friend”

Am I the only guy on Earth who claims Mary Willingham, Art Chansky, TDDan, THE Bob Kennel and BubbaTheRealAD as “my friends”.   Talk about “eclectically di-verse” !!!   “Trainwreck” Fennebresque and “Z. Smith” Tom Ross are NOT “my friends”.

I was familiar with much of what Mary and “Gerald” say here, but was NOT aware of shenanigans at Lafayette.  Were you?   I know every Fall Lafayette plays Lehigh but ESPN has yet to have GameDay visit either campus.

Big Time College FB / MBB is:

….dirtier than Bill Clinton’s daydreams…. more corrupt than Al Sharpton’s tax returns…. and more self-righteous than Pablo Escobar’s autobiography.

If you simply refuse to believe that, keep putting teeth under your pillow and checking for quarters every morning.



Point of View: In college sports, academic fraud acceptable collateral damage

By Gerald Gurney
and Mary Willingham
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The integrity of higher education has been hijacked by big-time college sport. Last January, Jonathan Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president for enforcement, revealed that an astonishing 20 cases of fraud were being investigated and that academic cheating and fraud in athletics were at an epidemic level.
…..The most widespread and systematic academic fraud scandal in NCAA history dating back to the Dean Smith era at the University of North Carolina awaits a hearing before the Committee on Infractions.
….New allegations detailing academic fraud scandals have emerged at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and UCLA. College presidents, their celebrity coaches and athletic administrators each reap millions of dollars from the spectacles of football and men’s basketball and seem to be bracing for the next academic scandal.

College governing boards, boosters and fans seem to tolerate academic fraud scandals in big-time college sports as acceptable collateral damage for bragging rights of beating their rivals.

…. They wager that their school will be spared public humiliation from an unlikely NCAA investigation.
…. Yet the potential loss to the reputations of the universities pales in comparison to their failure to adequately educate football and men’s basketball players. These predominantly young African-American men are the principal contributors to the college entertainment industry that pours billions of dollars into university coffers. …..Under the illusion of a tax-exempt educational mission, universities hire academic advisers housed within athletic departments who funnel often underprepared athletes into specific academic majors, seek out curricular soft spots and engage in schedule engineering.
…. Yet NCAA President Mark Emmert insists that college athletes are given an opportunity for a “world class education.” A closer examination of the state of big-time sport reveals that the opportunity is a hoax.

One hundred years ago, just nine years after the birth of the NCAA, the president of Reed College, William T. Foster, wrote about the clash between academic and athletic cultures. He observed even then that the aims of college athletics are “to win, make money & gain notoriety.”

…. The stakes to win are, of course, now even higher, and stories about academic cheating from fake classes and bogus majors have never before been made so public. Gaming the educational system to maintain athlete eligibility has become an essential activity sanctioned by university administration. Many leaders of higher education have failed in their role as stewards of their institutions by sacrificing academic rigor and integrity for the potential revenue and notoriety for their colleges derived from winning teams.
…. Rather than strive to provide all athletes with a meaningful education designed to equip them with productive futures, universities hand out useless degrees that diminish the value of the degrees for all students at the institution. Those who should care the most about the product of higher education, our university presidents and faculty members, are failing our students and our future.
…. Providing a quality education for all athletes has been sacrificed for a tribal fanaticism for college athletics. College presidents and admissions directors will point out that sports provide access to African-American males who are underrepresented in the general student population. They reason that the experience of being at the university is an improvement of their life experience. Many are admitted to highly selective institutions without a reasonable chance of success in the classroom. Only about half will leave with watered down degrees, while many leave with nothing but broken promises and sour memories.
…. Faced with academic fraud at epic proportions, the NCAA has proposed legislation to redefine the term, preferring to rename fraud as academic misconduct and mitigate its impact on institutions. Judging from the list of allegations of wrongdoing at UNC-CH, the NCAA appears to consider gross fraudulent grades and course credits as an impermissible benefit of monetary value rather than gross violations of ethical standards. Perhaps academic misconduct sounds less frightening than fraud.
…. While the NCAA is often accused of inconsistency and arbitrariness in its enforcement, this new approach to redefining and policing academic fraud is a pathetic smokescreen. The athlete is not a beneficiary of benefits but the victim of a cruel prank. To deliver on the promise of a meaningful college education for all athletes, the NCAA should re-evaluate its eligibility standards for academic preparedness, continuing eligibility, athletic time commitments and the practice of embedding athletic academic services within athletic departments.
….. Most important, university presidents need to address the glaring conflict of interest that structures college athletics today. As Foster wrote in 1915, universities must acknowledge the “sharp and almost complete conflict” between the educational purposes of their institutions and “athletics conducted for business purposes.” Without radical change, the fraud of college sports may persist for yet another century.


Gerald Gurney is an assistant professor of adult and higher ed at the University of Oklahoma and president of the Drake Group. Mary Willingham is a former learning specialist at UNC-CH and co-author of “Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes and the Future of Big-Time College Sports.”



Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article41474562.html#storylink=cpy



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