Saturday, June 07, 2014

A CPaL Correction

Back in the 1950’s there was not a rumor floating around Central New York that the great running back Jimmy Brown majored in "basket-weaving" at Syracuse University.

The basket weaving comments were, incredibly, representative of some of the least offensive racial slurs endured by black athletes at the hands of white racists of the era.

How could Jim Brown, or any black, succeed at university without meaningless courses?  From Jim Brown to Ernie Davis, black athletes at Syracuse University endured ‘basket weaver’ and worse racial slurs hurled at them from the stands of ancient Archbold Stadium and playing fields across the country - and faced segregated restaurants, hotels and other ‘public’ facilities when playing in the south.

Jim Brown did not ‘weave a basket or two’ at Syracuse, but rather succeeded academically and played at the highest level in segregated, Jim Crow America.

The blatant racism of the 50’s and the well documented academic fraud rampant throughout contemporary Division I football and basketball programs both have perpetrators and victims, and the victims in each case are the ‘student-athletes’’.

There is nothing new in McCants’ assertion of academic fraud at UNC. Many major Division I schools have or have had courses for athletes that do not require attendance and only a final paper for completion – and tutors to write them. And there is nothing new in Roy Williams’ assertion that, like Sgt. Schultz, “I know nothing!”

Joe Paterno knew nothing about pedophilia, Williams knows nothing about academic fraud and no Division I coach anywhere knows anything about the violations uncovered and penalized across the country, year after year.

No need to wonder what any diploma from UNC is worth. Not very much.


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