North Carolina

Athletic integrity remains key issue at UNC as new chancellor settles in

Posted October 10, 2013

Members of the UNC Board of Governors congratulate Carol Folt on April 12, 2013, after she is named chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.

— Success on the field and embarrassment off of it were cited by dozens who emailed new University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt when she first took office this summer.

When Folt took over at UNC-CH on July 1, replacing Holden Thorp, the former provost and interim president at Dartmouth College said, “There is something special about America’s great public universities.” She then challenged the students, faculty and staff to share what they thought were two strengths and two weaknesses of UNC. She got nearly 250 responses and almost one-third of those pointed to the NCAA investigation of the football program and subsequent legal and academic fallout.

“I loathe the national embarrassment our sports programs have brought upon us,” one email from a current student read. “I love to root for our basketball and football teams as much as anyone else, and I love to revel in their successes. Nevertheless, if I had to choose between success in sports and the reputation (of) the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reputation wins by a country mile.”

WRAL News reviewed Folt’s emails as the result of a public records request.

Athletic integrity remains a hot-button issue as the fallout from a years-long scandal involving the football team continues. The scandal, dating back to early 2010, involved agent dealings, academic fraud and improprieties and other off-the-field issues. It led to the team forfeiting wins, players being suspended and losing eligibility and prompted an academic review of the African and Afro-American Studies department.

The scandal costs jobs both athletic and academic, and some even called for Thorp to take the fall.

“If your desire is to restore confidence in the university, you should start with two resignations,” an email dated July 27, 2011 to Thorp from an alumnus read. “It is obvious that you do not care about the athletes affected or about the opinions of a majority of alumni.”

UNC fired football head coach Butch Davis amid the scandal and saw Director of Athletics Dick Baddour step down from his position. The chair of the AF-AM department and a second person working in the department resigned. Numerous academic reviews seeking the depth of the issues – improper grade changes, no-show classes and plagiarism – have since transpired.

“I don’t like that the athletic tail wags the academic dog,” wrote Michelle Cofield. “I know that’s a clunky metaphor but, for several years, big time athletics (your revenue sports) have called the shots and have caused my beloved Tar Heels to be on the national stage in a bad way.”

UNC faculty and students told Folt they worry about the amount of money spent on athletics, and that student-athletes are not held to UNC’s academic standards.

“To heal from the recent athletic scandals, we need to look more closely at the admissions decisions regarding specially admitted student-athletes,” suggested Bradley Bethel, a reading and writing specialist who works in the athletic support program for student-athletes. “There have been many student-athletes who were specially admitted whose academic preparedness is so low they cannot succeed here.”

UNC, according to the website businessofcollegesports.com, spent more than $70 million on athletics in 2010-11, third highest in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The university ranked fourth in the conference in net athletic income at just over $660,000. In 2012, the ACC and ESPN extended a contract that will pay each school in the 14-team conference $17.1 annually through the 2026-27 season.

UNC’s football program, meanwhile, ranked dead last in the ACC and at the bottom 10 of BCS schools nationally in the latest Academic Progress Rate score released by the NCAA. The score represents a four-year snapshot of graduation and retention rates among players in a particular sport.

“I’m truly concerned that our university is giving way to the mega $$ that comes with high-level sports,” wrote a student.

“We need to work on having athletic programs that are consistent with the academic model of UNC Chapel Hill,” Diana Knechtel, a UNC alumnus, added. “We need to stop relying upon the revenue from athletics because that makes us make bad decisions.”

While many emails responding to Folt’s inquiry were negative, there were others that painted a more positive attachment to UNC athletics.

“I think UNC can be a powerhouse in both academics and athletics,” wrote a student who added that the No. 1 thing Folt must do in her time is attend a UNC-Duke game at the Dean Smith Center. “Some say the two are mutually exclusive, but I disagree.”

UNC’s football program went 8-4 under new head coach Larry Fedora in 2012, but was ineligible for postseason play due to NCAA sanctions as a result of the scandal. The basketball program, despite some off-the-court issues this past summer, has played in three consecutive NCAA tournaments.

“My heart swells when we go arm-in-arm to sing ‘Hark the Sound’ after a football or basketball game,” wrote Elizabeth Gunn, director of Data Management at UNC.

 

90 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • StunGunn Oct 12, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Well said, heels, and you are certainly an example of a loyal Carolina fan! I always enjoy reading your posts.

  • heelsforever Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    One would think...

  • heelsforever Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Understand that thought, but there's no way in the world some kid who became a Carolina fan 5 years ago when he started school there feels stronger about UNC than I do after 35 years of being a fan. I would have gone to school there given the chance, but my little county in eastern NC only had a quota of only 2 spots believe it or not. Anyhoo, Campbell worked out well for me just the same.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Oct 11, 2013

    Maybe they should just focus on academic integrity. If you have that, doesn't athletic integrity kinda take care of itself?

    Think about it.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Better at CHEATING!!!

  • heelsforever Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Bravo!

  • StunGunn Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    +1

    Totally agree. I understand that fans who attended and graduated from a school may feel a stronger tie to their alma mater, but you're right about the stands being less populated if you had to graduate to be fan of a school.

  • StunGunn Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    OK - that did make me laugh.

  • StunGunn Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread


    It'll all be over by Friday, MO. Oh wait, today IS Friday. Sorry - couldn't resist.

  • 4YourConsideration Oct 11, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Gee, I really hope she does work out. Her silence has been deafening so far; and that concerns me. These are critical times for UNC to have a strong leader - not a "business as usual" type. Let's hope she is simply waiting for the right time to exert her influence on matters.

More...

 

 

  • The Ryder Cup

    Today at 9:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Duke vs. Virginia

    Today at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Oklahoma vs. TCU

    Tonight at 5:00 on FOX50

  • CFB: Arizona State at USC

    Tonight at 8:00 on FOX50

  • The Logan Zone

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • The Ryder Cup

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Kansas City at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Today at 3:30 pm on WRAL-FM

  • CFB: Tennessee at Georgia

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: Louisville at Clemson

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Panthers at Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 29
14Final
6
42
Fri, Sept 30
7
6Final
10
44
Sat, Oct 1
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
20
 
14
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
13
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
2
 
22
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
12
 
11
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
25
 
8
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
4
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
15
 
9
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
 
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
Preview
21
 
18
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
1
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
16
 
3
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
5
 
17
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
19
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
Preview
24
 
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 29
Miami7Final
Cincinnati22
Sunday, Oct. 2
Indianapolis 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ET12:30
Jacksonville 
 
Carolina 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Atlanta 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Baltimore 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Tennessee 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Houston 
 
Buffalo 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
New England 
 
Seattle 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Jets 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Washington 
 
Denver 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
Los Angeles 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Arizona 
 
New Orleans 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Diego 
 
Dallas 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Francisco 
 
Kansas City 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Pittsburgh 
Monday, Oct. 3
NY Giants 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Minnesota 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
Ryder Cup (PGA)
USA: 5 | Europe: 3
Foursomes - Day 2
MatchScore
Reed / Spieth
Garcia / Cabrera Bello
 
Walker / Johnson
Rose / Wood
 
Snedeker / Koepka
Stenson / Fitzpatrick
 
Fowler / Mickelson
McIlroy / Pieters
View Full Leaderboard
 
Reignwood LPGA (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Hur-2018
2B. Henderson-1918
3tM. Lee-1718
3tI. Kim-1718
3tS. Feng-1718
6tS. Feng-1218
6tA. Yang-1218
8I. Lee-1118
9tS. Kim-1018
9tE. Ji-1018
View Full Leaderboard
 
Ryder Cup (EURO)
USA: 5 | Europe: 3
Foursomes - Day 2
MatchScore
Reed / Spieth
Garcia / Cabrera Bello
 
Walker / Johnson
Rose / Wood
 
Snedeker / Koepka
Stenson / Fitzpatrick
 
Fowler / Mickelson
McIlroy / Pieters
View Full Leaderboard
 
Pacific Links (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Montgomerie - z-15F
2S. McCarron - y-15F
3tM. Jimenez-13F
3tJ. Sluman-13F
3tS. Dunlap-13F
3tD. Garwood-13F
7tB. Langer-12F
7tM. Dawson-12F
7tO. Browne-12F
10tF. Funk-11F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Friday, Sep. 30
Chengdu Open (ATP)
Quarterfinals
(4) F. Lopez3 4    
K. Khachanov6 6    
(6) V. Troicki6 77    
K. Anderson3 64    
(3) G. Dimitrov4 6 6   
D. Schwartzma6 4 3   
(1) D. Thiem1 4    
(5) A. Ramos-Vino6 6    
 
Shenzhen Open (ATP)
Quarterfinals
(3) R. Gasquet77 77    
M. Zverev64 62    
J. Tipsarevic78 6    
M. Jaziri66 2    
(4) B. Tomic2 2    
T. Bellucci6 6    
(1) T. Berdych77 3 6   
(8) J. Vesely61 6 2   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Sep. 30
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 3 4   
(10) D. Cibulkova3 6 6   
(4) S. Halep1 2    
(14) P. Kvitova6 6    
 
Tashkent Open (WTA)
Semifinals
K. Kozlova62 0    
K. Pliskova77 6    
(4) N. Hibino6 6    
(9) D. Allertova2 3