Over Spring Break, Sports Illustrated writer S.L. Price published a long story that is a breakdown of what he saw as the downfall of the Carolina Way.
Price, who went to UNC in the 1980s and worked for the DTH, had plenty of great lines in his piece, but one in particular stood out to me. Price spoke of how when his son, who had pushed since birth to go to his father’s alma mater, chose to go to UCLA, he was happy.
“Sending one more dollar to UNC felt too much like endorsing an academic crime binge,” Price wrote, which in many cases is true. UNC’s scandal was the worst case of academic fraud in the history of the NCAA. It’s embarrassing, a permanent, swollen black eye that will take decades to move past.
But going to UNC for the past half-decade has benefited one type of UNC student’s education: student journalists.
This year, I had national news break in my own backyard with the release of the Wainstein report. I myself have become so familiar with this scandal that I have had interview requests to talk about it on other media outlets. The Daily Tar Heel has broken incredibly important stories about the entire beast that is this scandal, for instance: Jan Boxill’s irregular independent studies that Price mentions in his piece, Mary Willingham’s FERPA-violating research application, the names of the employees facing disciplinary action, the Chapel Hill foundation’s overprotective tax policies, the issues of the 1993 start date.
These incredible important stories were all done by UNC students, who are competing with some of the best media professionals in the world. We learned everything from the journalism school and the DTH, neither of which we would have been able to experience without attending UNC.
So Price’s annoyance with UNC is understandable; I’m annoyed with how the scandal seemingly never ends and the fact my very hard-earned degree may be questioned. But thanks to this scandal, a certain group of UNC students are leaving this school better than ever. So, in a weird and twisted way, I guess UNC can take solace in that.