North Carolina

Cunningham: Never admitted someone we didn't think could do the work

Posted July 17, 2014

From education and cost of attendance to transfer rules to pay-for-play models, no question was off limits for University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Bubba Cunningham, Duke University’s Dr. Kevin White, North Carolina State University’s Debbie Yow and North Carolina Central University’s Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree at a Fan Town Hall hosted by 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio Thursday.

Here are some quotes from UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham:

"If I think about two things that are most important in college athletics today, to me they're very very simple, it's education. Are we providing education to the students we invite to participate and are we maximizing the opportunities for students to participate in sports and attend college."

"I worry about autonomy decreasing opportunities for kids to go to college and play sports, that's what concerns me about it."

"I would favor something to do with cost of attendance if it was on need basis because if students have significant financial need I think that's where we should be trying to go, trying to meet those needs. The more we go down this professional model and get away from the collegiate model of 'pay for play' I think we're going to reduce opportunities whether it's by choice or legislation."

"If you want to be a professional. Be a professional. That is a very good option. The option here room, board, books, tuition and fees, the cost of attendance, the opportunity fund, we have Pell grants and you're going to get a great education. That's what we offer and if there's something better than I would love to have you do it."

"We give you something that's yours you own it... I think in the beginning the principles were pretty solid, to say we're trying to be equitable we're giving you this stuff for use. It's not for sale and then when you sell it you've stepped across a line but maybe we should reevaluate that."

"That's why you have the entertainment, to fund what you're doing to create these opportunities for kids to go to college."

"I've never worked at a school that admitted somebody that we didn't think could do the work. I don't want anyone to think that athletics is driving some sort of admissions process, we don't do that."

"We're looking at every single process that touches a student-athletes life beginning with recruiting, going through graduation. We want to restore the confidence in the University of North Carolina in the recruiting process, the admissions process, the advising process to ensure that we're admitting students that can do the work, that we have a track that they can be successful with and that we can advise them appropriately with what they want to do in life."


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  • uBnice Jul 20, 2014

    View quoted thread

    "Bubba, the people running universities are smart enough to know that and so is most of the general public."

    I can only hope that Mr. Cunningham has read this. But I doubt if it would make any difference because Cunningham knows they have the upper hand when he says: "That's what we offer and if there's something better than [sic] I would love to have you do it."

    Steve Logan tells the story of his team returning from a West-coast trip after playing a Thursday night game. He said the AD announced to the players that they would be expected in class the following Friday. Logan said he said no. He told the players to go get rest and he will see them in a couple of days (yes, they have Sunday practices, usually in the form of meetings).

    AD's are part of the problem.

  • heelsforever Jul 19, 2014

    I'll say it for like the millionth time; expecting kids who struggle to get an 850 SAT and maintain a 2.5 GPA n high school to be able to do college school work and essentially work a 40+ hour week is asking too much. Bubba, the people running universities are smart enough to know that and so is most of the general public. COULD they do the work? Yeah, many probably COULD if they worked very hrad, but for far too many of them the answer is they WON'T do the work.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 18, 2014

    Cunningham: "...and you're going to get a great education."

    1. that will happen only if the athlete has the appropriate level of academic preparation when they enter college... some athletes fall far short of that level.
    2. that will happen only if the athlete is motivated to succeed academically. If the athlete only wants to do the minimum necessary to stay eligible to play long enough to have his shot at the NBA/NFL.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes, a "pipe-dream" is what it would be for both you and me! But... I have a hard time conceding that something is a "pipe-dream", throwing up my hands and exclaiming that "it cannot be changed... I firmly believe it could... and that college athletics must be changed!

    Your last paragraph... it is my observation - from "up close" - that most NCAA D-I athletic departments operate in MANY ways as if they were truly independent of their university. But... I hasten to say that there are some professors who utilize the university as a "base" - in many ways - for personal entrepreneurial ventures, and in some instances make a "ton of money" doing it! IMO - that should not be permitted any more than paying a head coach multi-millions and assistant coaches hundreds of thousands!

  • uBnice Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes, I know it is a pipe dream on my part. :-)

    But it highlights how the athletes are held to student/amateur comparisons. However, coaches and AD's are not held to professor standards. They are paid as pros.

    Athletic departments are quick to disassociate themselves from the University when it comes to making and spending money.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I could not agree with you more... but being a practical, pragmatic, "common-sense" person I think the probability of that being said to either Fedora or Williams in infinitesimally small! Again... to be clear... I absolutely agree with what you state!

  • uBnice Jul 18, 2014

    Mr. Cunningham needs to tell the coach: We will pay you a professor's salary with professor restrictions. If you want to be a pro, go coach pros.


    View quoted thread

    >a kerliner fan calling any other fanbase "walmart"
    Form Image

  • 903 Born To Be Hateddddddddddddd Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    gonna need a link to where I used the word "we" when referring to any sports team discussed here...


    View quoted thread

    Going to need to see a link to any degrees handed out by the FYC at NC STATE, BOY.




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