Athletics and FAR hid info from faculty oversight committee

That’s the latest from the sham course scandal at UNC. The NCAA Infractions Committee decided it was an academic scandal, not an athletics one, and washed their hands of it. So did an investigation opened at request of the UNC president, and overseen by the Baker Tilly accounting firm.

But now the faculty on the UNC Faculty Committee on Athletics, who were kept out of the loop by the athletic department and their NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, are fighting back to clear their names. The firm that ran the investigation has already retracted one key claim – that the faculty committee knew of, and therefore implicitly approved of, the sham courses:

The only officials Baker Tilly has found who knew about the fraudulent classes, other than the department head and his assistant, were from the athletic department and the faculty representative to the NCAA.

“Sort of offline,” these athletic department officials “asked a question” – apparently so meekly that no faculty member remembers it.

To expose the fake classes, surely these athletic department officials sent an email to the chairman of the Faculty Committee on Athletics? Or wrote a memo to the chancellor? No such paper trail exists. Because there’s little evidence a serious warning was sounded.

Here at UO, our Faculty Athletics Representative is former law professor Jim O’Fallon. He has made it very clear he answers only to the UO President, and not to UO’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee or the faculty. Nine years now have passed since the UO Task Force on athletic reforms recommended a review for Jim. Still hasn’t happened. FWIW, O’Fallon’s name is on the NCAA’s UNC report. 2/2/2013.

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