North Carolina

Baddour: Stability in UNC athletics needed

Posted June 12, 2012

— Stability is something that the athletics department at the University of North Carolina has been dancing around for the last couple years. From academic scandal among student-athletes to the unpredictability of conference realignment, strength has been lacking.

Talking with Mark and Mike on 620 AM The Buzz Tuesday, Athletics Director Emeritus Dick Baddour said that resolve is necessary in both areas, but uncertainty still persists. North Carolina Logo More UNC Stories

Conference expansion has been in the forefront of water cooler conversation for over a year and the ACC has been mentioned as wavering in credibility. Baddour said that it would take an unforeseeable reason for UNC to even consider a move, but added that he is concerned about historic rivalries.

“I cannot imagine what that reason would be (for UNC to leave the ACC),” Baddour said. “Certainly, some have had conversation about that and North Carolina would have a lot of opportunity if they wanted it, but I do not see that happening. I think it’s really important in the ACC that everything is done to maintain the rivalries that make the ACC so strong. I’m disappointed that we will not be playing NC State in basketball every year and I think there are other rivalries. I think that makes you strong. I think that keeps the fan interest and keeps people coming to games.”

Baddour reiterated that UNC was against the initial ACC expansion from nine to 12 in the mid-2000s for the reason of preserving rivalries and his feelings haven’t changed. Pointing out that he had no inside information, Baddour said that, for now at least, he believes conference movement has reached a level of establishment.

But that is not the only instability involving UNC athletics. Facing a postseason ban and reduced scholarships, adjusting to an entirely new coaching staff and athletics director and getting past a deep-rooted scandal still lingers.

“I hope it’s coming to an end. It needs to come to an end for the institution, for the football program and for the athletics program,” Baddour said referring to the academic scandal that has taken a toll on the program and university alike. “It’s very concerning, the latest stuff that has come out; it doesn’t look good, even if it was above board. Everything that casts doubt on the academic process is concerning and is going to remain ongoing until the institution pushes it to a conclusion. I think that will happen, I just hope it happens soon.”

In the most recent developments involving disgraced professor and former African and Afro-American Studies Chair Julius Nyang'oro, UNC has asked him to repay $12,000 for teaching a 2011 summer course as an independent study rather than a lecture. The decision by the university to ask for the collection arose from an internal investigation that found 54 African and Afro-American Studies classes over a four-year span had little or no indication of instruction and at least 10 cases of unauthorized grade changes for students who didn't do all the work.

“We have been looking at the major selection of our student-athletes for I’d say the last 20 years and there’s no evidence, whatsoever, that either encourages or discourages them from taking majors,” Baddour said. “Students are allowed to choose what they want to choose. They should have access to anything that any other student on the campus has. I’m not concerned about that. What I am concerned about is when last summer, you see that sort of concentration within a course, not a major, but a course, when our antenna should have been up.”

With the belief that the worst details of the scandal have been revealed, Baddour said that the next steps are crucial. He believes that Chancellor Holden Thorp, new athletics director Bubba Cunningham and new head football coach Larry Fedora have taken the appropriate steps, but it is important that they be allowed to get back to their outlined job descriptions soon.

“I believe that Larry and Bubba are doing everything they can, but the academic stuff needs to come to some closure,” Baddour said. “The unfortunate part for (Thorpe) is he has had to spend way too much time on athletic matters and that’s not good for the institution.

“The important thing now is that we correct it and we fix it. Not just that we just move on, but we move on with a defined plan to see that it never happens again.”

78 Comments

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  • heelsforever Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Technology has played a HUGE role in the UNC football case. Cell phones, Twitter, email, Googling papers and running them through plagerism software. What is the likelihood we are talking about any of this without today's technology? Very slim I believe. I also believe the chances that more would have been found at State and in every other case the NCAA has reviewed in its history would have ballooned significantly if the technology had been there. Of course that doesn't matter because we'll never know anyway. I'm still wondering how Auburn didn't get whacked big time. I guess the people at Auburn did a really good job covering the tracks and then denying, denying, denying.

  • heelsforever Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    If you ask me, and I know you didn't, a lot of people in Chapel Hill have talked when they would have been better off staying quiet. I don't say this with the intent to hide things. My reasons for being quiet are; 1) no one is going to believe them unless they fess up that the University has been corrupt all the way back to the 1790's, 2) too many of them seem, IMO, to be craving opportunities to stick their feet in their mouths. How many times since the football story broke have we heard someone over their publicly speak on the issue and end up looking like a fool afterwards? I say next time, and God I hope there is no next time, play it the way the SEC schools and Miami have..."no comment".

  • Objective Scientist Jun 13, 2012

    I've known Baddour for decades - he's a great guy and I've always "liked him personally". I have not been impressed with him as an AD. He should have rejected the request for this interview...

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Ignore about 95% of his posts. That's what I do.

    I don't even roll my eyes at that guy any more.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    I have to be honest and say that is a possibility. But there was an independent investigation that turned up basically nothing. I think the investigation is what finds the real meat. Technology like Twitter just draws the attention, but the ensuing investigation is the main thing that matters.

    In Carolina's case, technology could reveal even more (cell phone records). But Butch never released them. So in this case, where technology COULD have revealed more, the investigation did not make use of it.

    At State, players were selling tickets and shoes. And from what I understand, that was going on EVERYWHERE at the time. Probably still happens. But players don't rat each other out. They are usually good friends, and I've heard stories about Duke and Carolina players admitting to their friends that they were doing the same thing, but there's no way to prove it if no one confesses it.

    I feel pretty confident that the investigation turned up most of whatever there was to find at State. But then there's the whole Shackleford "loan" thing, so who knows.

    I believe all schools have "easy" classes for their players. But what we're learning about Carolina goes up to the administration levels. They're offering classes that require NOTHING but one 15-page term paper. And the dude doesn't even read them (or at the very least, check them for plagiarism). Carolina is proud of their student-athletes' academic record. Now we know why so many academically weak players do so well at Carolina. It's a VERY rare thing to see Carolina players suspended due to academics. And this despite them admitting so many special cases into the university (players with poor academics that have to be admitted by a special review committee).

    At State, players occasionally are benched or released from the university when their academics go south. So I don't think the administration is doing the stuff Carolina was. If they were, they're doing a bad job of it!

  • ThePackisBack Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    10-4 that!

  • BlueDeviIs00 Jun 13, 2012

    Delusional UNC fan of the day goes to none other than...... GoLower! He has still yet to even acknowledge any fault or blame on UNC's part. Throws in a couple of sarcastic Obama remarks, followed with the trendy #SWOFFBLOOD!!!!!!!!!! hash tag.

    Hey, at least he's (seemingly) stopped the utterly hilarious "The Carolina Way" post after every comment.

  • heelsforever Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Just a thought; any chance that today's technology environment in 1990 may have revealed much more than was uncovered?

  • shakennotstirred Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Wouldn't you have loved to hear the conversation of each one of these during their "payoff". All 3 get great packages to keep quiet. The $12000 is chump-change compared to the full benefits of his retirement. All 3 should have been terminated without benefits and this mess would have been over with in weeks. They would have sang like Lady Gaga.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jun 13, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Yes, roles have indeed reversed. And it is much worse at Carolina than anyone ever dreamed of at State.

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