No Harm, No Foul in UNC Sports Scandal Course Dispute

The Raleigh News & Observer recently published a contentious exchange between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s history professor Jay Smith and vice chancellor of communications Joel Curran concerning Smith’s course “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956-Present.” The course, History (HIST) 383, grew out of Smith’s involvement in UNC’s lengthy … Continue reading “No Harm, No Foul in UNC Sports Scandal Course Dispute”


Are Black Male Athletes Failing to Graduate Because of Racism?

The relationship between participation in sports and academic performance has many faces. Most of them are happy; for instance, many studies show that high school athletes outperform non-athletes academically by a large margin. At the college level, the relationships are more varied, depending on the school, the sport, and the demographic group. Still, college athletes … Continue reading “Are Black Male Athletes Failing to Graduate Because of Racism?”


Athletic Travel and Practice Requirements Are Overwhelming Students

Over Thanksgiving break, when most students headed home for the holiday to catch up on sleep and maybe some homework, NC State’s basketball team traveled to the Bahamas. They were there to participate in the seventh annual Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis tournament along with seven other American teams. By the end of the … Continue reading “Athletic Travel and Practice Requirements Are Overwhelming Students”


The NCAA’s UNC Decision: Nothing to See Here, Move Along

UNC-Chapel Hill’s infamous athletics-academic scandal has officially been swept under the rug. On October 13th, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions announced that UNC-Chapel Hill will not be punished for the fraudulent classes it offered to 3,100 students, 47.6 percent of whom were athletes, for nearly two decades. This decision concludes Chapel Hill’s six-year saga of … Continue reading “The NCAA’s UNC Decision: Nothing to See Here, Move Along”


Athletics Department Oversight of Academics: A Scandal Waiting to Happen

If a university ignores potential conflicts of interests between athletics and academics, it imperils itself. Athletics departments that lack academic oversight signal misplaced priorities and pose a risk of becoming a national scandal. Specifically, athletics departments that run their own academic advising and tutorial programs without supervision from the academic side of the university lower … Continue reading “Athletics Department Oversight of Academics: A Scandal Waiting to Happen”


NC State Hoops Players’ Palatial New Digs Send the Wrong Message

Athletes need a good night’s sleep to maximize their performance. But that doesn’t explain why NC State’s proposed new dormitory for basketball players will cost roughly four times as much per bed than other campus living quarters do. It seems pretty clear that the dormitory is due to NC State’s participation in the ever-escalating arms … Continue reading “NC State Hoops Players’ Palatial New Digs Send the Wrong Message”


When College Sports Lean Pro, Students and the Public Pay

Last week marked the latest chapter in the biggest college sports scandal in history. Administrators and athletics officials from UNC-Chapel Hill appeared before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in Nashville, Tennessee. At issue was whether the bogus classes UNC athletes took between 1993 and 2011 should be considered “impermissible benefits.” The Committee is expected to … Continue reading “When College Sports Lean Pro, Students and the Public Pay”


Five Questions to Ask Future UNC Board Members

Since 2010, the UNC system’s Board of Governors has become somewhat more conservative and more interested in serious educational reforms. Members of the Board have professed interest in decreasing costs, rolling back university mission creep, and improving academic standards. But progress has been slow. Part of the problem can be attributed to the structure of … Continue reading “Five Questions to Ask Future UNC Board Members”


Poll: How Should the NCAA Punish Academic Violations?

It’s been more than five years since whistleblowers uncovered extensive academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, the NCAA has released its third notice of allegations against the school. But, so far, there have been no official sanctions. Other schools have been less fortunate. Many have faced swift punishment from the NCAA for academic misconduct. The severity of the sanctions … Continue reading “Poll: How Should the NCAA Punish Academic Violations?”


Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?

Now that the election has ended, Donald Trump faces new challenges. He must assemble a team, choose a direction, and begin to govern. During his long campaign, he gave a few hints as to how he might change federal education policy. On Wednesday, Trump announced his nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. … Continue reading “Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?”