The University of North Carolina may have covered itself in glory “on the fields of friendly strife”, but at what cost to education and integrity?
Of course, we now have much different outlook on the Tar Heels, thanks largely to Raleigh News & Observer reporter Dan Kane, who used the Freedom of Information Act and plain old shoe leather journalism to shatter our illusions. In 2011, the newspaper obtained a transcript of UNC football star Marvin Austin showing a B-plus grade in a senior level African studies class he took before his freshman year began. UNC officials were at a loss to explain how he got into a high-level course before his first football practice. Reporters and investigators began digging, and the results were appalling. From 1993 through 2011, about 3,100 UNC students – nearly half of whom were athletes – took African studies classes that proved to be bogus. Classes generally did not meet; homework was not assigned. Most required little work – a simple term paper at the end of the semester often sufficed. UNC hired attorney Kenneth Wainstein to investigate, and he found that about 40 percent of those term papers were at least in part plagiarized, yet were accorded an average grade of A-minus.
Well, you get the idea.
What should be done?