NCAA: Cheaters Can Be Champions

UNC’s trophy sends the wrong message

Last night the NCAA sent a clear, unmistakable message: cheating is okay. For two decades until 2013, the University of North Carolina provided fake classes for hundreds of student athletes, most of them basketball and football players. Last night a key component of that scheme, the men’s basketball team, celebrated a national championship.

Coach Roy Williams’s longtime friend, Wayne Walden, worked as an academic counselor and helped steer basketball players to these classes. Players could plagiarize or simply not even show up to class and rest assured they would pass with good grades. UNC leaders and board members knew about the issues. The chairman of the Board of Governors even wrote in an email that he had repeatedly asked administrators to remove people who were involved in “fake classes.” Nothing changed; the cheating rolled on.

Since the scheme allegedly ended in 2013, only some of the players on the court last night took the classes, but everyone has nevertheless benefited. In the past 20 years, UNC has now won four national championships for college basketball — in 1993, 2005, 2009, and 2017 — that should all now be revoked. In the past, the NCAA had no qualms punishing future classes for past sins. In December the NCAA filed accusations against UNC, but thus far it has been meaningless. With UNC there are no consequences, no penalties, and the media elites with a regional bias in favor of the ACC continue to shower the school and its alleged excellence with praise.

Last night the NCAA hosted a high profile game, but in my mind no champion emerged. Instead, everyone — including the sport — came out as losers. I hope the NCAA soon sees fit to make the same official conclusion.

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