Former UNC chancellor: 'I would dismantle the NCAA'
Posted October 6, 2011
Updated October 7, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — When University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp fired coach Butch Davis in July, he said it was because what started as an athletic problem spilled over into academics.
The school is amid a year-long NCAA investigation.
But many are questioning the association's power, including former UNC Chancellor James Moeser.
“If I could be God, I would dismantle the NCAA. I think the time has come for federal intervention,” Moeser said during an interview with WCHL radio on Thursday. “This is a train that is at some point going to run off the tracks. I don’t think it is a sustainable model.”
Moeser isn’t alone in his opinion that there needs to be a change with the NCAA.
“I would agree that it is pretty weak,” UNC senior Jonathan Herrera said. “I think it’s out of touch with the realities of being a scholarship athlete or even a non-scholarship athlete.”
Bill Friday, who was president of the UNC System for 30 years, said the NCAA cannot be removed without having something to take its place. He admitted that he nor others have the answer just yet.
“I think that money interest has gotten such a control over the universities and athletics that no one is in charge,” Friday said.
Friday said he knows distinguished professors who make tens of thousands of dollars less than assistant athletic coaches and says the draw of money through athletics is allowing sports to overshadow academics, which should be the main focus of any institution.
“I think that Carolina as a university is known for its academics,” UNC junior Colleen Day said. “We also have good athletics, and I think they work really well together to create an awesome university experience.”
For now, academics and athletics remain tied together at universities, but academic leaders say there needs to be a better balance of power.
Moeser said Thursday that college athletes should be better compensated, but he does not think they should be directly paid to play.
UNC is set to meet with the NCAA about its infractions and the football investigation Oct. 28.