This week the National Collegiate Athletic Association decided that the University of North Carolina will not face an NCAA investigation over potential academic issues.
If you haven't been following, here is a quick rundown: The African and Afro-American Studies Department deviated from normal classes at UNC. Inconsistencies included unauthorized grade changes, forged faculty signatures on grade rolls, and limited or no class time in 54 of the AFAM classes. Half the students in AFAM classes were athletes, and the athletics department steered athletes into those classes for easy grades to stay eligible.
To get the full story, see Pat Forde's stories on Yahoo Sports. UNC forced AFAM department chairman, professor Julius Nyang'oro into retirement over the scandal.
North Carolina successfully argued that this is a university issue, not an NCAA issue. Now, where have I heard that phrase before? Oh yeah, in defense of Penn State's Sandusky scandal. That didn't stop the NCAA from destroying the Nittany Lions football program, but the NCAA seems to be walking away from UNC's transgression.
I am not comparing the two scandals. I am pointing out the NCAA's inconsistency. What happened at Penn State was terrible, but what happened at UNC is terrible as well and should be treated as such.
For years, athletes have been stereotyped as dumb jocks. UNC isn't helping replace that stereotype. For proof, check out Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers' transcript. He's at the center of the scandal.
What happens to athletes who get an easy ride in school after their athletic career is over? They end up in low-paying jobs, jobless or worse, because educators cheat them out of an education for the sake of a game.
The NCAA made up rules with Penn State and with UNC. Academics are the cornerstone of universities, and the NCAA should honor that in all cases.
Jackson State was ineligible for post-season play last year because of poor academics. I guess the Tigers should have just lied, changed grades or offered fake classes. That seems to be the new NCAA standard.