“The NCAA’s argument that they’ve been willing to accept so far from UNC is that this was not just athletes who were going to no-show classes, this was tons of college students across UNC.”
Even though the University of North Carolina isn’t exactly looking for a silver lining in the midst of an academic scandal that has tainted the school’s once-immaculate reputation, not to mention costing a number of employees at the school their careers, Clay Travis thinks the school’s athletic department, most notably around the men’s basketball team, can throw a legitimate trump card down on the table when it comes to defending itself from stern NCAA sanctions.
Carolina’s ‘sham classes’, as they’ve been popularly chided in the media, were clearly established to offer athletes a much easier path to eligibility through nearly non-existent workloads in exchange for high marks, but were also made assessable to everyone in the school, athlete or not – a complete game-changer Travis calls it.
“This wasn’t preferential treatment to athletes, it was a failure across the board academically and everybody was getting preferential treatment,” Travis said. “Everyone who was taking classes in that major was getting the same benefits that the athletes were, so it wasn’t as if these were no-show classes and easy grades that were being given out to just athletes.”
Although still very much a black eye to the university with the fact that students were being handed out free grades, Travis thinks it’s a university problem, and not an issue the NCAA would have any legislation or justification in investigating.
“If the scandal was big enough and it doesn’t just implicate athletics, then the athletic department can get out from under the punishment for it,” he said. “If you found out that something was not working at a major university it would be unfair to hold the athletic department entirely responsible.”