It is understandable when people, who don't have an academic association with that university or another institution in the UNC system, don't see the major implications of the cheating; whether it be academic or monetary that have taken place in association with the football program run by Butch Davis and consented to by the board of directors, Chancellor Holden Thorpe, and athletic director Dick Baddour. What we honest to God need to see is a full scale independent investigation by authorities representative of the state of North Carolina and not associated with UNCCH.
It is high time that this happens. What is truly sad is what we have witnessed from the Board of Governors of the State of North Carolina university system. We did not see this same hands off approach displayed 20 years ago when CD Spangler, acting as the head of the University of North Carolina system, and the Board of Governors went after NC State's basketball coach Jim Valvano with a zeal that led to his ultimate dismissal and the placement of a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumni as North Carolina State University's athletic director. Where is the Board of Governors now?
I read a very thorough quote on the website Pack Pride, in which a poster gave a very damning indictment of what happened 20 years ago and compared it to what we are seeing in relation to the Butch Davis and University of North Carolina football team scandal:
''I am pleased Chancellor Poulton has submited his resignation,'' said William Johnson of Lillington, a member of the board of governors. ''He has taken action in the best interest of the university. I think he set a good example which I hope Coach Valvano will follow. It would be in the best interest of the university for those who had any responsibility for abuses of academics to sever their ties with the university.''I want you to understand that I am angry about what I am witnessing here. The obvious double standard is so evident. 20 years ago we were constantly reminded about how North Carolina State ran a dirty program, while the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was as pristine as the wind driven snow. Well what do you think about that today?
Forget that the NCAA ultimately completely absolved V, and NCSU for that matter, of any academic abuse. The alleged "academic abuse" Johnson spoke of was never documented or otherwise factually supported. Contrast this situation to how the BOT and BOG are handling the current mess in Chapel Hill.
The other striking thing I've noticed in going back through this stuff is how open and forthcoming Valvano was in discussing everything that was going on, and offering explanations/comments on the allegations, allegations which again were ultimately determined to be false. Again, contrast that to the current situation.
Some examples of V's interaction with the media during the investigation:
"This has been the worst experience of my entire life," he said. "My only consolation is that my father's not here to see it."
"Usually I talk to my wife [Pam] when things go wrong," he says. "But she's so upset about all this, I can't talk to her. So, I just go crazy. I sit here, and I think that there's going to be a book going out all over the country that says I have no integrity.
"There's no place I can go to escape it, and nothing I can do to stop it. It's going to happen. I never thought after 22 years in this profession that my whole life would be changed by a manager and a writer whom I've never met. The funniest thing about it is all the times I've had people come to me and want to write a book, and I said no because I figured, Who wants to read a book about me? Guess I had that one wrong.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience, that I'm floating around watching all this. I'm not dealing with it well at all. I used to be the guy who wanted to talk to everyone. Now, I only want to be with close friends. This isn't temporary, either. I think this will change me for good."
And then after the investigation:
''This is not a typical major infractions case that we usually deal with,'' said Charles Smart, the N.C.A.A. director of infractions. ''This is not a case where there's academic irregularities. This is not a case where there are cash payments.''
Funny, aren't these precisely the 2 things UNC is guilty of? Nonetheless, even after being exonerated by the NCAA's investigation, V still stood up and accepted responsibility unlike you know who.
Valvano said that being barred from the N.C.A.A. tournament was ''as serious a hurt and blow as I have had personally in my life.'' ''We accept the N.C.A.A. findings and its punishment,'' he added.
Valvano maintained he had no knowledge of any violations. ''We did not have any individual in any level of our department who intended to violate any rule, but we not have in place the proper procedure to insure that no rules would be violated,'' he said.
Finally, let's not forget the horrible transgressions that resulted in 2 years probation, post-season ban, and loss of scholarships for NCSU:
Tickets were sold or exchanged for merchandise worth up to $150 each, the N.C.A.A. said. Shoes, valued at $75 a pair, were traded for shoes and apparel of equal value at a local sporting goods store, the report said.
John Blake was a direct hire by Butch Davis. There are no ifs, ands, or buts and no one can deny that fact. The tutor that was directly hired by Butch Davis for his son is also implicated in writing class assigned papers for UNCCH athletes. And we are led to believe by supporters of the university and Coach Davis that he had no association (or knowledge of) any of this. Let's be honest folks, that defies logic.
The latest information, that sadly has to come from a national source(Yahoo sports -- Money trail ties agent, ex-UNC coach - 9/29/2010), shows a multitude of payments directly associated between Agent Gary Wichard and John Blake before and during his tenure as a recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach for the Tarheel football team. There is an appearance of impropriety here that needs to be investigated. And apparently there is a lack of willingness of people in the UNCCH administration to forthrightly investigate these relationships. And again where is the local media to assume the investigative reporting role that they so passionately and thoroughly assumed in 1989 and 1990 as they sought to convict North Carolina State's coach Jim Valvano of wrongdoing.
Where are the Board of Governors? Do you know that some of these people live in our own area? (Board of Governor's members) This board is disproportionally made up of people who are graduates of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Is the reason that they don't want to investigate, because of their alma mater? The appearance of impropriety is impropriety.
It isn't too late. We all make mistakes. Some of us even acknowledge the mistakes that we have made. It is time that the win at all costs system of athletics at Chapel Hill be brought back to reality. It is my hope that the Secretary of State of North Carolina will honestly and thoroughly investigate this situation and get to the bottom of what is and has been going on over there. This has been a black eye to our state and many of us recognize that.
I will not pretend that I am unbiased in this situation. I have not liked what I've seen over these many years. The rumors and innuendo have been there for a long time. All anyone asks for is a level playing field. This is not about athletics. This is about integrity. This is about knowing the difference between right and wrong. Collegiate athletics are not supposed to be a breeding ground for money laundering and illegal agent activity. We all saw what happened to the North Carolina State University athletic program and supposedly it was about the student-athlete paradigm. Well, what we have seen in the past 20 years is North Carolina State run a completely above board athletic program. Can the same be said for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill?
The question that begs to be asked is this one, and I would like to ask this to the Board of Governors and local media. If what we're witnessing right now in Chapel Hill had taken place at any of the other 15 institutions that make up the University of North Carolina system would they be given the same luxuries to investigate themselves that we have witnessed with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill?
This is all going to come out in the wash. There's nowhere to run and there is nowhere to hide. Those involved need to come forward and provide the honest truth about what has been happening in Chapel Hill. The sooner they come forward, the more lenient the punishment will be, but there is going to be punishment.
Our state motto is "esse quam verdi," which means "to be, rather than to seem." As I've stated already this is a black eye to our great state. Perception means nothing, if their is no substance behind it. Is everyone equal under the eyes of the law and by-laws or do we choose to divide ourselves up amongst socio-economic and privileged classes? Who the heck is Butch Davis anyway? What has he contributed to our state? The people associated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill should be embarrassed and ashamed to be associated with what has been brought to the perception of that institution.
The leaders of the University of North Carolina system and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill need to realize that what they are doing is historical. This is going to have implications for years to come, because the caste system that is our university system has been fully exposed, but in the end righteousness will prevail. The university system does not belong to the members of the board of governors and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill does not belong only to those closely associated with that university. That university belongs to all of the people of this State past, present, and future.
We have seen a lot of scandals in the state over the last few years. None of them take precedence over the others. One is as shameful as any of the others. What we have learned is that there are very few innocent bystanders associated with any of these scandals. There is corruption from the top to the bottom and all you have to do is follow the money trail. There have been lots of ill-gotten gains. No wonder the state is suffering economically at this time. If we do not address these issues of corruption, then all of the other efforts are fruitless. With no moral foundation or principles, anything we do is a waste of our time.
The number one economic development tool that we need to work on in our state is our moral and honor code. The corruption is killing our economy. People want to talk about innovation and ingenuity and I personally don't believe that you can have that mindset without a fair playing field. We need to reward people based on merit and not nepotism and/or class. The cream is being suppressed and we need the cream to be able to rise to the top. That should be the goal of people who care. Do you care?
State of North Carolina University System -- We've Got a Problem Here!!! - September 18, 2010