Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thorp's blog: Still uncertain how NCAA will rule

University of North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp wrote Friday in a blog on the school’s web site that he doesn’t know when or how the NCAA will rule in terms of possible penalties for the school’s football program.

“But I do know that we have worked hard to get all of the facts, to cooperate fully with the NCAA, to do everything we could to avoid playing a potentially ineligible student in a game, and to treat our student-athletes fairly,” Thorp wrote in the message, which was addressed to UNC’s faculty.

Fourteen players missed at least one game, and seven were held out the entire season because of the NCAA’s investigation into impermissible benefits and academic misconduct at the school.

Thorp wrote that while UNC took players’ inappropriate contact with agents seriously, it was natural that as faculty members the school focused on academic misconduct. He wrote that the school’s review committee, in partnership with the NCAA, conducted more than 60 interviews with students on the football team, coaches, athletic department staff members, academic support staff and others. The NCAA visited campus seven times, and the North Carolina secretary of state’s office visited twice as part of its investigation into possible violations of the state’s uniform athlete agent act, Thorp wrote.

He praised athletic director Dick Baddour for his experience and commitment to academic integrity, and stated once again that the school has found no evidence that coach Butch Davis was involved in any of the problems that surfaced.

“Nonetheless he feels a burden of responsibility for the situation, as do Dick Baddour and I,” Thorp wrote. “The three of us have met regularly to review the facts and to talk about the future. Coach Davis, Dick Baddour and I have all been in agreement about the investigation and our response to the NCAA. I truly value that collaboration.”

Thorp wrote that a review, launched in the fall, of the school’s academic support program, is well under way, and that officials will continue to work to enhance the academic and personal success of the school’s 800 athletes in 28 sports.

“During the course of this investigation, I have gotten to know many of the members of the football team, including those who were part of the investigation and those who weren’t,” Thorp wrote. “Our primary commitment is to the welfare of these young people. They are our students.”

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

UNC Chancellor Thorp should remember UNC's mission is education, not sports and fire ALL the coaches.

Anonymous said...

By that reasoning, they should also fire the professors who accepted papers submitted by football players that were actually written by the tutor, right? After all, they should know that they were cheating just like the coaches, right?

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