Sunday Extra: NCAA damages college athletics

Sunday Extra: NCAA damages college athletics


When the Illini lost the national championship game to the Tar Heels in April 2005, Rashad McCants was a guard for North Carolina.

McCants later said that he had taken substandard classes and had much of his academic work done by tutors.

In 2012, former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin launched an investigation of the school that revealed numerous unauthorized grade changes, classes with very little teaching occurring and a disproportionate proportion of student athletes enrolled in such courses.

The offenses over 18 years helped many basketball players preserve eligibility by taking fake classes.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools investigated and placed the Tar Heels on probation for the 2015 school year.

In 2014, the NCAA began an investigation of the Tar Heels. On Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, the NCAA reported that the Committee on Infractions could NOT conclude that North Carolina had violated NCAA rules because some non-athletes had also taken the fake classes.

By giving North Carolina a pass, the NCAA has forced universities to choose between academic integrity and athletic success.

Universities choosing the latter need only follow the North Carolina example.

Their gifted athletes can now spend more time in gyms, honing their athletic skills, instead of attending classes.

Recruits more interested in athletics than academics will be drawn to such schools. Boosters may pressure their teams to take advantage of this new opportunity.

Universities choosing academic integrity will be at a great disadvantage in athletic competitions.

What has the NCAA done to college athletics?

Carroll Goering lives in Seattle.