UNC and the NCAA are trying to “move forward” and salvage a system that is simply not sustainable. The college sport model which was built on the myth of amateurism is slowly eroding.
Carolina’s paper class case has dragged on for 6 long years making it old and tiresome. We’ve blamed various people for the corruption instead of focusing on the issues. I’d say that this strategy has worked rather well for my home team. Of course nothing much has changed. Responding to notices of allegations with the NCAA, a cartel and partner in crime, is another smoke screen. The underlying crime as I learned through my whistle blowing is the secrets and silence of American white society: we together conspire to keep black Americans submissive, subordinate, and cheated out of opportunity. In the case of the corruption of college sport our silence deprives students, mostly poor and mostly black, of the very things we’re supposedly promising them: educational opportunities and intellectual growth in exchange for their talent.
While our profit sport athletes represent the largest cohort of black males on the majority of our campuses, they are the only students who will have signed away their rights before moving into their dorm rooms this fall. They are the only students on campus who are mandated to work for no pay (40+ hours not including travel) and to put their bodies and brains in danger. They do this to entertain us while their boss (the coach) and other high ranking NCAA members make millions off of their labor. Complicity is the name of the game when everyone from fans to politicians to professors tell me that change is impossible. But that means giving up on the principles of truth and integrity. These are the very principles that promote and sustain social justice. Our athletes deserve to be given their rights under the law and until that happens university leaders across the country are making a mockery out of the mission of higher education. Transparency and disclosure depicted in film (Business of Amateurs by Bob DeMars) and played out in the courtroom (O’Bannon, Jenkins, McCants & McAdoo) will eventually pave the way to justice. College students have been successful in the past at leading movements that advance and protect our civil rights. Perhaps college sport and its blatant exploitation of black lives will become a rallying point for students on game day this fall.