Friday, December 21, 2012

Football and Academic Fraud

The report on academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill is sad to read about for several reasons, aside from the fact that I am an alumnus.

First, the idea of a "student-athlete" is terribly abused. Rich, and often white, people want young men, often black, to make them a ton of money playing football. Very few people care what happens to those young men. Give them fake grades and keep them on the football or basketball team. They won't make a dime out of this multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, if they receive any tiny gift they'll suddenly be investigated.

Second, we see the development of a culture of corruption surrounding athletics at the departmental level. An administrative assistant gets a $100,000 inheritance. A department chair makes fake classes to keep justifying his budget and gain new faculty lines after there is an investigation at Auburn about football players. (As an aside, the author of this much anticipated report did not bother interviewing either one of those individuals, saying he just left messages!).

Third, there was an amazing lack of oversight at the college or university level. Loads and loads of grade changes, plus a high number of independent studies (about 300 per year in one 5 year span, which is mind blowing), in a department known for attracting athletes, clearly should have brought attention from higher up. But see the first point about that.

Fourth, and perhaps the worst, no one is talking about overhauling the system. Slap Carolina on the wrist and keep things the same, pretending that this is all about education and not money. There will be another scandal like this somewhere. Given the system and the money involved, it's just a matter of time.

1 comments:

Vicente Duque 12:14 PM  

What is more American than apple pie ?? - Like Gladiators for Ancient Rome or Bullfighting for Spain -- But after years this thing can leave you worse than a Rodeo Clown -- Foreigners admire Americans for this display of toughness, strength, harshness and manhood --- but read this and you will feel very sad
.
Many people tried to forbid this activity in the years 1900 to 1920 and failed, when they change the rules to make it safer it becomes potentially more devastating with years. Teddy Roosevelt called these people to the White House after 18 young men died in a year.

Around the World the word "Football" means soccer, but in the USA, "Football" is "American Football" and changing the rules to make it safer only delays the time of reckoning for the player. The time when he will realize that he is a ruin of a Human Being, with lots of brain problems.

I think that Bullfighting, Boxing, Kick Boxing and "American Football" are political problems and cultural problems. What are these activities telling us about the nations that practice these "Gladiatoral" sports ??

Observe that these horrible sports become activities for low class people, the poor and underdogs. Because Rich People are not going to risk their skins there. Gladiators were a very low class in ancient Rome.

What is "American Football" telling us about the millions of Americans that love as fans or practice this dangerous sport ??



The New Yorker
The Sporting Scene
Does Football Have a Future?
The N.F.L. and the concussion crisis.
by Ben McGrath
January 31, 2011

Does Football Have a Future?

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/31/110131fa_fact_mcgrath?currentPage=1

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