Sunday, April 12, 2015

Move UNC Forward

   Finally, some faculty strike back against the anti-Carolina forces that are trying to use the AFAM scandal to attack the university.
   It was bad--really, really bad. But Carolina was extremely aggressive and transparent in responding to it. That doesn't make it go away, but it's the best an institution can do when it uncovers something like that.
   Currently, what we have is (a) a really, really rotten state of affairs that turned up a few years back, and (b) a rabid, concerted effort by certain individuals and groups to exaggerate an already bad situation for various reasons. Dan Kane and the N&O are angling for a Pulitzer...and acting as the catspaw of the NCSU fan base concentrated in Raleigh. The national media (CNN, Sports Illustrated, etc.) are obviously looking for the most sensationalized interpretations they can turn up or think up. Jay Smith and Mary Willingham are angling to make money. Rival fan bases are angling to maximally harm UNC athletics.
   I admire how forthright the university has been in dealing with this scandal. However, instead of getting any credit for being open, honest and transparent about what happened, the university is being attacked that much more aggressively. The basic argumentative strategy being employed by the ABCers is:
* For any extremely damning conclusion in the Wainstein report, accept it at face value.
* For any conclusion that is exonerating, or even less-than-extremely-damning: assert without argument that the report must be wrong on that score, and that the real facts must be maximally damning.
   Case in point: the Wainstein report largely exonerated men's basketball. Roy thought he smelled a rat, and told the advisers not to encourage players to major in AFAM. But men's basketball is the trophy that the ABCers are really after. That's the dog. The rest is tail...
   I don't want Carolina to descend to the level of its enemies...but I do think that it's time to strike back against the most egregious of the attacks and misrepresentations.

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