Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Carolina's AFAM Scandal: Bradley Bethel vs. The Lynch Mob

   There's simply no way to understand what actually went on in the UNC AFAM scandal without reading Bradley Bethel's posts at Coaching the Mind. As nauseating as the scandal was, a careful examination of the facts seems clearly to indicate that it was an academic scandal involving Nyang'oro and Crowder, not an athletic scandal. Every account I've read of the scandal in the national media has been some combination of ignorance and lies.  Ignorance is, I think, to some extent excusable--it's sports, and the people who write about sports don't typically have a scholarly bent... But it's difficult to excuse ignorance when it's combined with a rabid, bloodthirsty desire for punishment.
   At any rate, the good news from the perspective of Carolina basketball fans is that men's basketball seems clearly to be innocent of any wrong-doing. The bad news is that it isn't clear that anyone cares...  Another ray of hope, though, is mentioned by Bethel at the end of the post I link to above: there's at least some reason to believe that the NCAA's investigation will be more objective than the Wainstein report. Even the latter leaves MBB largely unscathed...though, as Bethel notes, there is a subtle but systematic effort there to shift blame from academics to athletics. But presumably the NCAA will not share the Carolina administration's goal of shifting blame. We might get the most objective investigation yet from the NCAA...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not academic advisers or athletic department staff share any responsibility for this fraud, your dismissiveness is disturbing. Yes, it's an academic scandal, but it's an academic scandal predominantly influenced by the perverse structure of big-time college sports.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

So far as I can tell, that just isn't true.

Have you read the Martin and Wainstein reports, and Bethel's correction of the latter? (And Wainstein's admission of error with respect to Butch Davis's alleged role?)

I don't see that the problem is any less-bad. It's just different. So admitting/concluding that it's primarily academic isn't to be dismissive.

Of course I could be wrong... But, if Bethel is right about what happened, then the most appalling thing is that athletics may have been largely a scapegoat...

If it was an athletic scandal, why were none of the four deans who knew of the AFAM irregularities for years interviewed? Why were...well...I could go on. I don't want to turn into a conspiracy theorist here...but there's just so much about what happened and about how the Wainstein investigation was conducted that just doesn't add up.

IMO, Bethel has done better work for free than Wainstein did for $3 million...

I may be wrong...and I've changed my mind about all this a couple of times...but I don't think I'm dismissive.

8:28 AM  

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