Less than a year ago I wrote a post about the failing and questionable academic standards here at U of O concerning student-athletes. I referred to a thesis about possible infractions committed at UNC Chapel Hill regarding student-athletes. This month another report was published that was the result of an investigation into the matter of helping student athletes remain eligible through a number of different ways. The whole investigation can be found here but I am just going to list some highlights for y’all:
– More than 3000 students were believed to be involved in this scandal through the department of African and Afro-American Studies(AFAM). It should be noted that the report states that “while that number very likely falls short of the true number, it is as close as we can get to a definitive total without engaging in speculation”.
– The main blame of the report lands on former student services manager Deborah Crowder and chair of the curriculum Dr. Julius Nyang’oro. Crowder and Nyang’oro are found to have created classes within the department that required little to no work in order to keep student athletes eligible for competition. They gave high grade to papers without properly looking over them. They accepted papers that were found to be plagiarized as well as papers that were not written by the students at all.
– The report also specifics that through interviews with several coaches and administrators within the athletic department there is strong evidence to suggest that people knew about this “eligibility” scheme and that they knowingly let and encouraged the student athletes to participate in it. For example former football head coach John Bunting claimed that “He knew that they yielded consistently high grades for his players, and was told …that they were a key element… for keeping some players eligible”
– The report found no evidence that the higher ranking administrators for the entire university had any knowledge of the ongoing issues within the AFAM and the subsequent grade dishonesty.
The whole report reeks of the classic “see no evil, hear no evil…” mindset within schools; almost everyone had some idea that students were receiving higher grades than usual in these classes and that they were considered to be easy but no one ever made a formal complaint. This can be attributed to the fact that professors, athletic personnel and others feel an immense pressure to keep student athletes eligible as the sports teams bring universities millions of dollars each year. Because let’s be honest here; money makes the world go round, and colleges are no different.
Just look at how much money our won football team is bringing in to the school. Think about how much money Uncle Phil and the child exploiters over at Nike contribute to the school. If you think that this sort of scandal is an isolated incident then you are wrong. The truth is that all sorts of academic dishonesty and rule violations take places at universities all over the nation in the name of the holy dollar. Do you think it was a coincidence that our good ol’ buddy Chip left for the pros just before NCAA started looking into our football team? Everyone cheats. It’s as simple as that. Now, is the cheating due an institutional problem where the sports teams have become so lucrative in the NCAA system that they push academics aside? Or is a individual problem where some school just can’t follow the rules? Spend 10 minutes reading reports about similar academic scandals concerning student athletes and the answer will become very clear.