UNC-CH academic scandal is concerning

Dewey Mullis

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s football team might be at a break-even win-loss record this season, but their current academic record is suffering a fatal defeat.

A new report of the bogus classes offered to student-athletes at UNC-CH revealed a massive scandal of unexpected proportions.

The report states that more than 3,100 students – many of whom were student-athletes – were funneled into fake classes that had no attendance or course work requirements. The 18-year scam, designed to boost the GPAs of struggling student-athletes, came to a halt after reports of these courses were published last year.

UNC-CH is now facing the largest known system of an abhorrent lack of transparency and oversight that any public university system has ever seen.

This shameful situation affects nearly everyone, at least in reputation – faculty, staff, student-athletes, non-athletes and the prodigious academic history of UNC-CH.

Perhaps most affected by this are the student-athletes and the academic value of an education from UNC-CH. It wasn’t only student-athletes who received access to these phantom classes. Non-athletes did as well, but some faculty made a mission out of inflating the grades of student-athletes in order for them to maintain athletic eligibility.

Being a student-athlete requires a great deal of effort, enhances leadership and teamwork skills and creates what are expected to be educated individuals. They key word in all of this is “educated.”

Simply, the term “student-athlete” should imply individuals are students first. There is a huge responsibility for athletes to be accountable for true academic success, which has shown not to be the case.

However, the scandal does not fall entirely on student-athletes. Displays of voluntary blindness have come on behalf of the administration and those responsible for directing  course scheduling.

All university faculty and staff, regardless of status or responsibility, must be dedicated to the academic pursuit of every student who enrolls in their institution. They are charged with the duty of yielding highly educated and fulfilled individuals.

This includes upholding the ideals of academic integrity and honesty.

Unfortunately, many students have been cheated out of legitimate opportunities.

It has been made clear that UNC-CH has a tendency to sometimes promote athleticism over academicism.

It is possible UNC-CH is one of many cases in which fraudulent actions are degrading the reputation of the institution. Uncovering these tragedies requires accountable individuals – students, student-athletes, faculty and staff – to promote and safeguard quality and academic prosperity.

Mullis, a senior criminal justice major from Wallburg, is an opinion writer.