About 60 years ago, Judy Garland sang:
“Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina … in the morning.”
The song goes on to extol the natural beauty of Carolina – not specifying North or South and so by implication it can be both or either – and how wonderful life is there when you are with loved ones. That is all probably true and it all probably still exists today – – unless you are a sports fan in North Carolina.
The NCAA came down hard on the State of North Carolina moving all of its championship tournament activities out of the state due to the “Bathroom Bill” that is extant there. The ACC followed suit last week and announced that 8 Conference Championship events over the next year will be relocated. Here is the list, in case you did not see it and where each event was supposed to happen:
Women’s soccer – – Cary NC
Football – – Charlotte NC
Men’s and women’s swimming/diving – – Greensboro NC
Women’s basketball – – Greensboro NC
Men’s and women’s tennis – – Cary NC
Women’s golf – – Greensboro NC
Men’s golf – – New London NC
Baseball – – Durham NC
Perched atop all of these sanctions and all of the acrimony associated with the sanctions, the NCAA is still dealing with the decades-long academic scandal at UNC. The NCAA is in an uncomfortable and contorted position here – and frankly, I hope they stay there for a while until it hurts. I do not want to get down in the weeds here so here is the overview of the NCAA’s conundrum:
What UNC did by sending athletes to sham courses and having them take Swahili as their foreign language – not particularly useful in terms of employment here in the US – strikes at the heart of why the NCAA exists.
The glorified “student-athlete” at UNC was not really a student. The “student-athlete” was taking courses that did not exist or which had minimal academic content/value.
The “amateurism ideal” requires that the “student-athlete” provide service to the university in exchange for the costs of his/her education. Well, if they were not being educated, then their “free tuition and board” must have been something other than what supports “amateurism”.
The NCAA overseers did not find out about any of this for about 20 years which might cause some folks to ask what those overseers do for a living. And that would be a fair course of inquiry – one with more intellectual content than some of the sham courses provided for UNC athletes. Even more maliciously, one might ask if the overseers “kinda sorta knew” about this but turned a blind eye because UNC is a major presence in several NCAA sports – – including the two that produce 99% of the revenue. Before you call that inquiry overly cynical please recall:
The only difference between a cynic and a realist is whether or not you agree with him.
The NCAA position in all of this is sort of a hodgepodge of wreckage surrounded by a jumble of debris. To a large extent, it is a problem of their own making and the only way for them to get out of it will be to pay lots of money to a bunch of people in exchange for a confidentiality agreement so that all of the clutter does not come to light. Meanwhile, pardon me for enjoying their discomfort…
Speaking of problems of one’s own making – sometimes referred to as shooting oneself in the foot – the Indianapolis Star had a report last week about a man who overreacted just a bit to losing out on a job opportunity. It seems as if this man aspired to be a 4th grade teacher and a basketball coach in Indiana but the school district involved picked someone else to do those jobs. Obviously, anyone would be disappointed if he/she were among the applicants not selected for the position but I do not think I would ever be in such a state to do what this guy is alleged to have done.
He began harassing the man who got the jobs – – and the man’s fiancée.
He mailed packages containing dead animals (4 skunks and a raccoon) to the man and his fiancée.
The package with the dead raccoon included a note telling the man to “Resign, it will not stop.”
He mailed letters to the employer claiming that the man had a sexual relationship with an underage student.
He informed Child Protective Services that the man was abusing his fiancée’s daughter.
He spray-painted threats on the personal vehicles of the man and his fiancée.
If only half of these allegations are indeed correct, I think I can say with confidence that this person is not someone that I would want to be part of the elementary education system in my county. Lest you think I am making this up, here is the link to the story in the Indianapolis Star:
Finally, since I began this rant with a reference to an old song, let me close with this item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“From the Sometimes You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up file comes word that fibbing swimmer Ryan Lochte’s choice of music for his ‘Dancing with the Stars’ debut was ‘Call Me Irresponsible.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………