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Recent scandals at odds with 'Carolina Way'

Posted December 18, 2013

McDonald returns; Hairston outcome expected soon

— Among those present Wednesday night when Leslie McDonald returned to the court for the University of North Carolina were fans and broadcasters who remember when the Tar Heels set the standard for integrity.

That reputation has been tarnished in recent years as reports of athletes indulging in parties, trips, hotels and cash continue to swirl around the program.

First it was the football team. Fourteen players missed some or all of the games played in the 2010 season. The NCAA declared two of them, wide receiver Greg Little and defensive end Robert Quinn, permanently ineligible, and UNC kicked a third, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, off the team.

Then the stain spread to academics. When Michael McAdoo sued to get back his football eligibility, among the evidence were class assignments that appeared to have been largely lifted from other sources. A nine-month internal investigation into the Department of African and Afro-American Studies revealed unauthorized grades, forged signatures and other irregularities.

This year, the basketball team is under the microscope after junior guard P.J. Hairston notched three traffic violations during the offseason. In two of those stops he was driving rental cars connected to a Durham party promoter and convicted felon, leading to speculation that use of the vehicles may constitute an impermissible benefit and bring NCAA scrutiny again to Chapel Hill.

Leslie McDonald, a UNC senior, also has ties to the man known as "Fats," but he was allowed to return to the court Wednesday after a nine-game suspension. He was greeted by a standing ovation as he checked into the game.

The NCAA found McDonald accepted "multiple impermissible extra benefits" including access to cars, hotel rooms and a cell phone. 

Longtime Triangle sports writer Barry Jacobs said that up until four years ago, UNC had the reputation of doing things the right way.

"I think it does as much damage to the self-image of the university and its supporters as it does to the image that will be portrayed to recruits and the world at large," he said.

Former UNC star Eric Montross disagreed, saying, "I am absolutely certain that the core integrity of this institution and the programs that represent and have these student-athletes as a part is of them is perfectly solid."

After the game, McDonald said it felt good to be back on the court. "It's truly an honor to be able to play out there and for those fans," he said.

"It was bittersweet because P.J. wasn't there," McDonald said. "It hurts deep down inside that you can't be out there with your family. That's what we call it. My brothers out there, giving their all. And just to be back, I was overjoyed."

The Tar Heels expect to have some clarity on Hairston's issues before the week is out, UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner said after the game.

"The University of North Carolina is working with PJ and his family to settle a few unresolved issues that remain, we expect to have this matter resolved at the end of the week," he said.

That outcome won't take the harsh spotlight off UNC. 

"We all must learn from these situations and avoid the kind of problems that could jeopardize eligibility and our program's success," said UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. 

105 Comments

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  • TruDat Dec 19, 10:26 p.m.

    You're a little late to the party, WRAL. Did you just hear about this?

    And can you also update us on the 2008 presidential election results?

  • Alex25 Dec 19, 5:55 p.m.

    www.unccheats.com // www.carolinasucks.com

    It never changes. UNC-CH Grads, Students, Faculty ALL Frauds.

  • one Dec 19, 4:28 p.m.

    Facts - 200 FAKE classes & over 500 unauthorized (made up) grade changes affecting 4500... View More

    — Posted by one

    Speaking of Dean Smith, let us know when anyone on this site or at any ACC school ever receives... View More

    — Posted by 7074Tarheel

    You know, 75heel asked for facts - he got them.
    He hasn't written a word since

    Now you take the facts & simply deflect.

    LOOK - Squirrel!!

    "To appear rather than to be" UNC-ch's philosophy
    the anithesis of the state motto

  • Steven Dec 19, 3:14 p.m.

    Facts - 200 FAKE classes & over 500 unauthorized (made up) grade changes affecting 4500... View More

    — Posted by one

    Speaking of Dean Smith, let us know when anyone on this site or at any ACC school ever receives... View More

    — Posted by 7074Tarheel

    A medal given to him cause they erroneously acted like he was the first to integrate minorities to the basketball team? Even though it had already been done by another program in the ACC?

  • BogeyBoy Dec 19, 3:13 p.m.

    Facts - 200 FAKE classes & over 500 unauthorized (made up) grade changes affecting 4500... View More

    — Posted by one

    Speaking of Dean Smith, let us know when anyone on this site or at any ACC school ever receives... View More

    — Posted by 7074Tarheel

    John Hope Franklin, Duke, Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded in 1995.

  • 7074Tarheel Dec 19, 3:01 p.m.

    Facts - 200 FAKE classes & over 500 unauthorized (made up) grade changes affecting 4500... View More

    — Posted by one

    Speaking of Dean Smith, let us know when anyone on this site or at any ACC school ever receives or has ever received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given by this nation to a civilian.

  • dave437 Dec 19, 2:05 p.m.

    the "Carolina Way" was always fraudulent. it's just been outed more publicly in the last 4-5 years.

  • Alex25 Dec 19, 1:11 p.m.

    UNCCH's football players haven't been to class since Lawrence Taylor's days.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Dec 19, 12:00 p.m.

    I hate that the scandals in athletic programs cause people to trash the hard-working, honest... View More

    — Posted by carrboroyouth

    Agreed. I am an NCSU alum and I realize that academic standards over in Chapel Hill are excellent. We are talking about a very small percentage of the overall UNC population here. The vast majority of those who put down academics at NCSU or UNC have never attended a class at either. Or probably any other university.

  • GC Dec 19, 11:47 a.m.

    This is the same University that did everything they could to stop the Medical School at ECU. ... View More

    — Posted by Pirate01

    Fact check, news articles, names of UNC Administrators or Alumni or any other PROOF other than... View More

    — Posted by 75Tarheel

    You fact check it TurHeel and prove him wrong. I was in undergrad school(& no not at ECU) in the 70's when ECU started to establish the med school and I distinctly
    remember the Chapel Hill crowd trying everything they could to thwart ECU's
    attempts.

    But there is nothing new there. In the late 19th century when the federal government started sending out money to all the states to start the land grant schools UNC wanted the money themselves to run the agricultural and engineering schools.
    UNC was proactively against the establishment of the "N.C.College of Agricultural & Mechanical Arts" as it was initially called. The animosity between UNC and State is rooted more in that than any subsequent athletic contest.

    But of course you probably don't want to hear that either. That is the Carolina Way. Talk the talk,,,,but don't walk the walk. Deflection should be another degree at Carolina. Looks like you may already have a Masters in it.

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