Cover image for Cheated : the UNC scandal, the education of athletes, and the future of big-time college sports
Title:
Cheated : the UNC scandal, the education of athletes, and the future of big-time college sports
Author:
Smith, Jay M., 1961- , author.
Publication Information:
[Lincoln] : Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, [2015]
Physical Description:
xxi, 280 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"Examines athletic-academic corruption at UNC-Chapel Hill and in NCAA athletics"--
Language:
English
Contents:
Paper-class central -- A fraud in full -- The making of a cover-up -- Lost opportunities -- The university doubles down -- On a collision course -- "No one ever asked me to write anything before" -- Tricks of the trade -- Echoes across the land -- Conclusion: Looking to the future -- Epilogue.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781612347288
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In 2010 allegations of an utterly corrupt academic system for student-athletes emerged from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, home of the legendary Tar Heels. As the alma mater of Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, Marion Jones, Lawrence Taylor, Rashad McCants, and many others; winner of forty national championships in six different sports; and a partner in one of the best rivalries in sports, UNC-Chapel Hill is a world-famous colossus of college athletics. In the wake of the Wainstein report, however, the fallout from this scandal--and the continuing spotlight on the failings of college athletics--has made the school ground zero in the debate about how the $16 billion college sports industry operates.
Written by UNC professor of history Jay Smith and UNC athletics department whistleblower Mary Willingham, Cheated exposes the fraudulent inner workings of this famous university. For decades these internal systems have allowed woefully underprepared basketball and football players to take fake courses and earn devalued degrees from one of the nation's top universities while faculty and administrators looked the other way. In unbiased and carefully sourced detail, Cheated recounts the academic fraud in UNC's athletics department, even as university leaders focused on minimizing the damage in order to keep the billion-dollar college sports revenue machine functioning. Smith and Willingham make an impassioned argument that the "student-athletes" in these programs are being cheated out of what, after all, is promised them in the first place: a college education.


Author Notes

Jay M. Smith is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has served in a variety of administrative capacities involving the management of undergraduate education.

Mary Willingham worked in the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling at UNC-Chapel Hill until 2014. Both she (in 2013) and Smith (in 2014) received the Robert Maynard Hutchins Award from the Drake Group for integrity in the face of college sports corruption. Willingham now works as a middle school reading teacher for Kipp Public Charter Schools in Chicago.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Higher education currently faces several existential crises over its inflated expenses, tentative connection to the real world, and general usefulness, but perhaps the most odoriferous rot comes from the corrupt relationship between academics and sports on campus. In recent years, nowhere was this more apparent than at the University of North Carolina (UNC), where for nearly two decades athletes had their GPAs artificially boosted by being pushed into "paper classes." These independent studies never met and required only a final paper, as short as a paragraph and often plagiarized, to be submitted to receive an A or B in the class. In this expose, Smith (history, Univ. of North Carolina; Monsters of the Gevaudan) collaborated with Willingham, who previously worked for the UNC's Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling and played a leading role as whistle-blower to bring the shoddy practice to light. The book offers a thorough examination of how the unethical practices became rooted in the institution, all with the knowledge and acceptance of administrators. The authors stress that the real victims are the athletes themselves who are used to bring money and fame to the university but are cheated of a true education. They offer two paths forward: pay athletes and separate athletics entirely from academics or take academics seriously and provide the heavy remedial education that so many athletes need to perform work at a college level. VERDICT All readers interested in education, public affairs, and college athletics will find this book essential.-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Of the many high-profile scandals that have besmirched college athletics in recent years--including those involving Heisman trophy recipients, head coaches, and many players at Penn State University--arguably the one that provoked universal condemnation was at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. At one of the nation's most respected public universities, players, faculty, and administrators engaged in wholesale academic fraud--fake courses, plagiarism, and grade tampering. In Cheated, UNC history professor Jay Smith and former UNC athletic administrator Mary Willingham chronicle the widespread use of, and institutional attempts to cover up, a litany of shameful activities on that campus, all designed to preserve and protect the university's programs and revenues in football and men's basketball. In a thorough, chilling, well-documented, step-by-step account--from recruitment and admissions to the daily care and feeding to student advising and the complicity of faculty, the athletic department, and coaching staff--the authors meticulously lay out the patterns of systemic corruption and lack of institutional control. This book should be required reading for everyone, both those on campus and fans in the stands or in front of their flat-screens. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. --Allen R. Sanderson, University of Chicago