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Feb 05, 2013

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Worst person on the Internet

There are no villains or victims here. Just collusion as usual gone bad between the big bucks academic sports factory, its gladiators, and its facilitators (councilors/tutors). Unfortunately the honor council didn't play, and the NCAA rode their draft, leaving the colluders (sp?) to point fingers at each other's wallets. Any parallel drawn between this and the debate over liberal arts vs job oriented curricula is a red herring/straw man/false equivalence of the first magnitude.

Andrew Brod

No parallel was drawn. "The debate over liberal arts vs job oriented curricula" is a fake problem, while falsifying college credits for athletes is a real problem. That's a distinction, not a parallel.

Worst person on the Internet

You're right, but just lump them in together, throw in some emotive words and McCrory's name and you get cheap extra Republican bad guy points out of thin air. Just admiring the craft, that's all.

Ed Cone

Right, because criticism of our governor's remarks can only be seen through the lens of GOP-bashing, and nobody really cares about the underlying issues, or any underlying issue.

Worst person on the Internet

Has McCrory done anything wrong on this issue to criticize him for or do you just like to use any excuse to recycle old criticisms, like drawing false parallels between them and new issues? Oh yeah, I forgot, it's a distinction, not a parallel, that enables this parallel.

Kind of like the kid that says when mom hits him : "but I didn't do anything!"
Mom: "Well, just imagine what will happen when you do!"

Andrew Brod

I don't know about Ed, but I like recycling old criticisms, especially if they're particularly important criticisms. What do you with them? Ignore them? Try to forget them? Hope they'll go away?

polifrog
“I would still like to get a college degree someday,” he said. “But not at the University of North Carolina. They just wasted my time.

As an alum I feel I have been raped by UNC over this embrace of lowered academic standards, but then, this episode is the direct result of first creating "bullshit academics".

The intersection is undeniable.

...Among the first classes he was “assigned” (as he phrases it) was a Swahili course, an “independent studies” class taught by the department chairman, Julius Nyang’oro. “There wasn’t any class,” McAdoo recalled. “You sign up. You write the paper. You get credit...

“All the academic counselors knew about the paper classes” — as they were called — “and they all steered athletes to them,” says Mary Willingham, a former academic counselor at the university.

Worst person on the Internet

You must have quite a backlog to keep up with there. Must keep you quite occupied. I don't think advocating for career-based curricula in colleges is a particularly odious one though, unless you're a pointy-head.

Andrew Brod

I just thought of another old criticism.

justcorbly

It would be nice, wouldn't it, if the NCAA got as exercised about phony university classes as they do about people talking to people the NCAA says they can't talk to.

Meanwhile, I await UNC's awarding of degrees, perhaps, in such disciplines as Creative Urban Sprawl and Industrial Fast Food Provision. Perhaps they will create a course called "Charlotte as a Utopian Model".

polifrog

Rochs for jocks sounds so much more pleasing when it is called "(pick your liberal community) Studies" or "Creative (pick your liberal rant)"

Meanwhile, I await UNC's awarding of degrees, perhaps, in such disciplines as Creative Urban Sprawl and Industrial Fast Food Provision. Perhaps they will create a course called "Charlotte as a Utopian Model".

Imagine all the "seats" awaiting athletes otherwise unqualified for higher education.

formerly gt

i get that mcCrory is an R, but there's been ample time for the progressive/left blogosphere to get exercised about the shenanigans in chapel hill.

The substance of the article has been known for at least a year. the former governor, UNC BOG, BOT, chancellor, ACC, and NCAA not to mention the majority of alums have said "nothing to see here. move along."

unc apparently created the perfect system to attract top athletes and keep them eligible so that middle-aged men in light blue sweaters can shake pom-poms on saturdays and high five each other in the dean dome.

the firestorm created by his comments would be nothing compared to the shitstorm that would rain down on him if he attempted to sanction unc for using young men - many of whom are black.

if he wants to ensure that he's a one-term governor, all he has to do is to wade into that mess.

Worst person on the internet

Absolutely dead-on brilliant, but you left out "middle aged 'predominantly white' men in light blue sweaters..."

prell

"I await UNC's awarding of degrees, perhaps, in such disciplines as Creative Urban Sprawl and Industrial Fast Food Provision. Perhaps they will create a course called "Charlotte as a Utopian Model"."

The final two courses I took while at UNC-Chapel Hill were in the Planning Dept. One was titled "Cities of the Future" and it was actually a graduate level course. The other I can't recall but the theme of both had to do with "Smart Growth" and New Urbanism. Charlotte and Carrboro's Southern Village were the models used in "Cities of the Future." So, the faux courses you cite aren't all that faux and can go towards obtaining a degree. With that being said, my brother took similar courses at App St., but that was his major.

FWIW, I had no interest in the courses short of needing six more hours to fulfill my BA.

polifrog
unc apparently created the perfect system to attract top athletes and keep them eligible so that middle-aged men in light blue sweaters can shake pom-poms on saturdays and high five each other in the dean dome.

Yes.

Ed Cone

FGT, +1 on the light blue sweater thing. Beyond that, you've essentially restated the point of the post: McCrory will pop off at what he thinks to be safe topics regarding the university system, but he ain't touching big-time sports. I wonder, given the vigorous pushback he's gotten on liberal arts, if the tide may be shifting. I hope so.

Re coverage of the sporting news, this topic has been covered here fairly often before -- I think you've commented on it? -- and I wrote a pretty harsh newspaper column on it back when I wrote newspaper columns. Quite often I find "you never see x reported in y" said about x that y covers all the time. A recent example: last week I was using the Rhino to protect my desk from kung pao sauce and I noticed a beeper complaining that Beyonce lip-syncing at the inauguration had been ignored by the librul media (because, it was implied, Beyonce is black and thus immune to criticism), when in fact the lip-syncing story got more coverage than the inauguration itself.

Anyway, "unc apparently created the perfect system to attract top athletes and keep them eligible so that middle-aged men in light blue sweaters can shake pom-poms on saturdays and high five each other in the dean dome" = Truth.

Dave Ribar

It looks like Michael McAdoo got some bad counseling, but it also looks like there is more to the story than meets the eye.

The honor court ruled that McAdoo should be suspended for a semester.

In my experience, suspension is an unusually harsh penalty. Honor courts and university academic integrity offices have a range of sanctions available to them, and suspensions fall at the extreme end of that range. Suspensions are typically reserved for the most egregious actions and/or for repeat infractions. While it's not beyond the realm of possibility that UNC's Honor Court decided to make an example out of a minor offense, it would be very, very unusual.

Worst person on the internet

Ed, I'm not sure I understand which direction you see the tide shifting, thus what you just hoped for. Are you saying the collegiate sports factory system needs to be fixed, that McCrory should take on the task in regard to the UNC system, and that you would support him in that effort? Or are you saying something to the contrary?

Ed Cone

I'm saying that the collegiate sports factory system needs to be fixed, and that I would be damn proud of my governor for showing leadership on that issue.

Also, that it would be a good thing if the strong reaction to McC.'s remarks about liberal arts has some influence on that debate as well.

And I'm implying to the careful reader that those little peppers in kung pao sauce are awesome.

Worst person on the internet

"Also, that it would be a good thing if the strong reaction to McC.'s remarks about liberal arts has some influence on that debate as well."

Forgive my denseness but I just don't see the connection between the two, and how and in in what direction one influences the other,seriously. Maybe it was obvious to everybody else from the outset, so have a good laugh, but I'm not seeing the little peppers.

My very wild guess would be that you're saying: M made some remarks about the UNC school system that some of the point... er, faculty didn't like. Therefore he could make amends for his "mistake" by doing something else regarding the UNC school system that might be seen favorably by those same po....faculty. Is that anywhere near close??


And are you sure you won't miss the White Man's Overbite and the high fives?

Ed Cone

It's not really about making amends. Also, I think the reaction extended well beyond the faculty.

It's simply that McCrory, in the news for his interest in our public university system, has a real issue to deal with on that front.

Worst person on the internet

That's IT? That's the intuitively logical force and direction of one's influence on the other? They both have to do with UNC. No wonder I couldn't grasp the natural cause and effect. There wasn't one. I was starting to worry that I was really slow.

Ed Cone

I think you may underestimate the reach and staying power of the liberal arts story, Worst.

But in any case, sure, the gov's in the news for his opinions about UNC academics, and days later here's a story about UNC academics. Same governor, same school, same general topic, nearly the same news cycle.

But if you think it's a force, fine. Maybe the actual topic is of more interest to you.

Andrew Brod

Whether it's forced or not, CP's done a lot to keep the thread active.

Worst person on the internet

Sigh. I will try one last time.

You said "but he ain't touching big-time sports. I wonder, given the vigorous pushback he's gotten on liberal arts, if the tide may be shifting. I hope so." and...

"it would be a good thing if the strong reaction to McC.'s remarks about liberal arts has some influence on that debate as well."

In what way or direction do you see his earlier remarks about the first issue naturally shifting the debate about the second? I assume, like anything else, there will be those for and those against change vs the status quo for a host of reasons. You seem to see some 'tidal shift" effect of issue 1 on issue 2 that is not intuitive to me and thus, why I couldn't figure out what outcome you were hoping for, since your hopes and your perceived tidal shift were unstated and seemed to be aligned toward the same outcome. Therefore I was just asking if you would share those insights/desires with me.

I will put it as clearly and specifically as I possibly can:
1.) Do you think M's earlier remarks will make him A) more or B) less likely to take on the issue of the collegiate sports pipeline?
2.) Do you think there is something about those remarks which logically should shift sentiment on the debate A) toward maintaining the status quo, or B) toward change (If answer B, I suppose asking in what direction would be asking too much so I will stop here.)

And as always, thanks to the grinning Cheshire King's bodyguard/court jester for monitoring the situation closely.

Ed Cone

My lack of depth embarrasses me. I had no such grand design in mind. I was just saying, hey, Pat, if you want to get involved in UNC academics, this is a better place to start than pissing on liberal arts.

The possible tidal shift to which I alluded involves the Gov rethinking the wisdom of "pop(ping) off at what he thinks to be safe topics regarding the university system," as in, I bet he wishes he could have that one back and maybe he'll be more thoughtful on the topic in the future.

Could the two (defending quality liberal arts education, and challenging the sports-biz complex that mocks same) be part of the same movement?

Now that you mention it, maybe. That would be grand.

justcorbly

I find it difficult to turn university sports misbehavior into a partisan issue, much as I'd love to. The desire to win trumps politics. Whether it's bogus courses, paying kids for nonexistent jobs, or renting them BMW's for a buck a week, cheating is not exclusive to one political persuasion. Otherwise, we'd see won-loss records change in synch with the election results.

Worst person on the internet

So finally, admission: (at long long last; repeat winner in Dental Olympics-4 years running):

1)Pro-liberal arts= faculty-minded types= defend status quo>> LOGICALLY FOLLOWS/WE WISHFULLY ENVISION==movement against sports/industrial complex=change=GOOD!=better yet GRAND!

2)Pro-movement toward career based curriculum during prolonged recession =change>> MUST NATURALLY FOLLOW that==mean new conservative governor= defender of sports/industrial complex status quo=BAD!

Nice to know the battle lines are drawn so clear and logically.

Which brings me full circle to my 2nd comment in this thread. I should have left it that. But then I knew that.

What keeps dragging me back periodically for more? Hope against hope that something might change? Why? Why? God, Why?

Ed Cone

No real clue what you're trying to say here, Worst, and not sure I can be repeat myself in a way that's clearer to you than my previous attempts.

Worst person on the internet

I guess I'm just left shaking my head over the presumption that a bias toward liberal arts over more career-focused curricula would logically portend a movement to crack down on systematic academic fraud in collegiate athletics. Even more the baffling is the attitude that such an association should be so self-evident that it scarcely merits stating, much less the bother to explain it to those who can't see the pepper for the sauce.

HRH

Did you hear Cantor's speech today? McCrory's just echoing the party line re: vocational education. Sure would be interesting to see the official position paper being circulated among the repubs in leadership roles.

justcorbly

Folks like Cantor and McCrory like the thought of people going to vocational school instead of college for two reasons. One, they typically command smaller paychecks, which is good for the institutions Cantor and McCrory represent. Two, they typically are not as broadly educated as 4-year-degree holders, which is good for politicians like Cantor and McCrory.

Worst person on the internet

It is also in political lockstep with their desire to preserve academic corruption in collegiate sports.

Kim

I'm more worried about Eve Carson's family.

Spag

...Yet the majority of lesser educated, lower information voters vote against politicians like Cantor and McCrory.

Anyway, I think what Ed is trying to say is that McCrory shouldn't focus on getting rid of bullshit academics, but instead eliminate the ability of otherwise unworthy athletes to use them to get through college.

You see, the problem isn't the bullshit academics but allowing athletes to get college credit for them. Wait, that kind of proves the point that they are bullshit academics that don't belong in college.

Hmm.

Where was Bev Perdue and Mike Easley? Maintaining the bullshit academics and the enabling effect they have on athletes. Not a problem then, but now that Republican Governor Pat McCrory has been in office for a month, well he just isn't doing enough.

So the moral of the story is we need to keep the pointy headed bullshit academics and instead focus our efforts on preventing access to them by athletes. Bullshit is only worthy of the non-athlete undergrad, and it became a huge problem as soon as McCrory took office. In fact if he doesn't do something about it, North Carolina citizens need to elect a Democrat governor who will.

Usually a red herring has logical merit in it's own right, it's just not topical. In this case, even the logic is missing.

Also in the study cited by Brod that was originally cited by Dave Ribar, people with a science related degree have a lower unemployment rate than the general studies and humanities grads that Ribar cites. Also, nearly 20% of the science grads are out of the work force. I would hazard to guess that these two statistics combined point towards those with science related degrees continuing their higher education in graduate school. Therefore comparing the present employability of a person with an undergraduate degree in general studies who is not continuing their education with a person with an undergraduate degree in science who hasn't entered the workforce because they are still pursuing education is invalid.

"I'm saying that the collegiate sports factory system needs to be fixed, and that I would be damn proud of my governor for showing leadership on that issue."

You start by getting rid of bullshit academics.

polifrog

Well said, Spag.

There is more than just a confluence between bullshit liberal studies and academic corruption, bullshit liberal studies enables academic corruption.

And yes, McCrory is right to note that bullshit liberal academics needs wiping.

sal leone

This is not a new concept, star players getting easy degrees. This has been a national problem for years and done by all sorts of colleges. The propblem is money, colleges want good High School players so they can fill the seats, sell the shirts and TV rights for big money. The players don't care because they think they all will make the pros and sign big contracts.

I say cut the useless degrees out. I don't cry for McAdoo, he makes more than me and survived the scandal well and if he felt cheated in college, he should of complained and not take the free ride.

Ed Cone

Worst, you're amazed at "the presumption that a bias toward liberal arts over more career-focused curricula would logically portend a movement to crack down on systematic academic fraud in collegiate athletics."

But as I keep telling you, no such presumption was made.

My previous comment: "I had no such grand design in mind. I was just saying, hey, Pat, if you want to get involved in UNC academics, this is a better place to start than pissing on liberal arts."

Now it's your turn to repeat that you can't believe I said what I didn't say.

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