PRESS CONFERENCE Q&A
Are you going to submit the report to the NCAA and do you expect any communication with them about the findings?
Chancellor Holden Thorp
“As we have done throughout this we expect to share the report with the NCAA. It’s a public report; lots of people are reading it right now so I believe they will. If they have any further questions then we’ll address those with them as we always do.”
Is this almost a best case scenario considering the conclusion is that it is not an athletic scandal and the fact that it is somewhat isolated?
Governor Jim Martin
“I’ll quote John Fox, ‘it is what it is.’ If we had found something else we would have reported it. There would have been no limitation on that, but when we don’t find something we should say that too. I think your point is very good. The shock and awe effect came when it was first exposed internally. What we did was to do what we were asked to do to see if there is any other department. We can’t find anything like it or similarly creative in other departments. We found some reasons why this department was distinctive and the way it was truly organized with only one person responsible and others who couldn’t put the two and two together to see what was going on, because they weren’t in it… and they found when it started and it looks like a pretty good reason. It started right after they got departmental approval.”
“There are multiple emotions associated with this. Obviously there are things about the findings that we’re very relieved to hear. That there are no other faculty, that there are no other departments that the nature of how this started is as described, but there are things as we’ve said repeatedly, are unacceptable for the university that we have to address and acknowledge and so I think it’s a balance of those two things but, as the Governor said, I think the thing that is most reassuring to me is that he had free reign to conclude whatever he wanted to and he’s here to tell you about that.”
How do you know that the student-athletes were not treated differently than the non-athletes that were in the same classes?
Raina Rose Tagle
“As we have indicated in our report we’ve looked at the correlations between student-athlete participation and non-athlete student participation and all of the different characteristics of how those different classifications of students were appearing in the various populations of grade changes, core sections represented, academic misconduct, etc and we did not see any unusual or not consistent correlation between the student-athletes and the non-athlete student population.”
According to the findings, no coaches were aware of anything that occurred. In light of the findings should coaches be expected to know more going forward?
“That’s a good question and I think they should and they should be a reporting system really through the athletic director from the tutors, the counselors, the academic support program. This was related to one of the questions that was called upon and one of the trustees asked about. How can you get people to report concerns that they have without being punished for having concerns and of course the vital answer to that is they have to have assurance that if they bring something forward they’re not going to be the one making the decision. Someone else will, but the person that has to make the decision must have that input so they can consider it. The coaches should know about it, but really the athletic director should get that feedback from the people that are working for the program. If they see something or if other faculty members see something they’ve got to have a way of having confidence, but, again, you’ve got to get away from this idea of ‘I won’t question how you teach your courses, you don’t question mine.’
“I think what Governor Martin said is correct. I think lots of people are aware of all this stuff right now and the challenge is going to be how do we sustain this level of intense vigilance and I’m confident we will because of everything that we’ve gone through that has gotten us to this point.”
How many current coaches and current athletes did you interview?
“I don’t believe we talked with any current athletes. They’ve got enough to do. Their timeframe had already been pretty well scrutinized and they couldn’t have told us anything about AFAM. We might’ve been able to tell us about some other departments. We did talk with some former athletes and you can see those listed. We did talk with one mother of a current athlete... we spoke with one recent coach who is still around, John Shoop.”
“We spoke with the director of athletics and we didn’t speak with current coaches because the Hartlyn-Andrews review had very much covered what is happening today and so while our focus was in part on that we were needing to gather on new information focused on more on what had happened in the past and so we did talk to a number of former coaches and former individuals who had been affiliated with athletics.”
Why not talk to any basketball former players?
“The people that we spoke with were for the purpose of trying to find and scuttlebutt, rumors, gossip, personal experience, direct involvement and we had enough of that that you didn’t have to talk to everybody. My opinion was that the basketball players would not have been able to tell us anything that we didn’t know from other sources.”
“The way we structure our interviews is really a two phased approach and even before we determined who to interview we looked at who had been interviewed and the results of the interviews of all the prior reviews and investigations that the university had conducted and so we talked to an initial round of interviewees with just sort of an open set of questions about what do you know, what did you see, kind of honing in on the specific issues. Then we did follow-up interviews and many of these individuals that are listed are more for specific questions around speculation or things that we saw in the data or other factors that came to our attention through the course of the review that we followed up with those additional interviewees to discuss with.”
'"This Was Not An Athletic Scandal'
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - A months-long investigation of academic fraud at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds the problems were confined to wrongdoing by the former chairman and an administrator of the school's African studies department and didn't involve other faculty or members of the athletic department, according to a report released Thursday. The report also finds that the problems go back a decade earlier than previously uncovered.
The investigation by former Gov. Jim Martin said the university's Department of African and Afro-American Studies remained at the heart of the two-year athletic and academic scandal that has contributed to the departures of football coach Butch Davis and resignation of Chancellor Holden Thorp.
No other university academic departments allowed students to cheat, but the investigation found the problems in the African studies began in 1997, Martin said.
"Was it pervasive across this department? No, it was isolated to no more than two officials. Did it extend to other departments? No, it was isolated within this one department. It did not metastasize," Martin told a special meeting of the campus trustees. "We were asked to get to the bottom of academic misconduct. We've done everything in our power to do so."
Martin said flatly there was no evidence the university's athletics department pushed students into courses with known irregularities that would allow athletes to remain eligible for competition.
"This was not an athletic scandal. It was an academic scandal, which is worse. But it was isolated," he said. "There was no coach that knew anything about this. They didn't need to know. That was not their job."
Martin said unauthorized grade changes in the department were not limited to student-athletes.
Martin, a former congressman and chemistry professor at Davidson College, was assisted by consultants practiced in academic investigations. They reported examining all 172,580 course sections with undergraduate students enrolled over an 18-year period from the fall 1994 term through second this past summer term. The review looked at nearly 13,000 instructors teaching nearly 119,000 students.