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Death penalty for UNC? No way

From a column by Chuck Culpepper in The Washington Post:

Some 678 days have passed since the dead of the fourth day of June 2015, when the University of North Carolina released the 730-page Notice of Allegations with which the NCAA had greeted it 15 days prior. That news took the usual American stew of resentment, rationalization and fan tribalism and gave it a good, fresh frothing.

It has boiled only on occasion since, again on Monday evening, when the Raleigh News & Observer reported that Wallace Loh, the president of the University of Maryland, responded to a question from a faculty member in a university senate meeting last Thursday by guessing — “I would think” — the North Carolina academic scandal “would lead to the implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA.”

That was a guess, all right. It sounded like somebody out to lunch, dinner, drinks and then breakfast. The death penalty is not coming, and it’s uncertain, anyway, which North Carolina sports would receive it. That’s among the few certainties in the fake-classes scandal that sprouted in the African Studies curriculum in 1993, which remains an uncertainty heading for an uncertain conclusion at an uncertain time. …

According to a tape of the public meeting sent to the News & Observer, Loh answered a question thusly:

“As president I sit over a number of dormant volcanoes. One of them is an athletic scandal. It blows up, it blows up the university, its reputation. It blows up the president. For the things that happened at North Carolina, it’s abysmal. I would think that this would lead to the implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA. But I’m not in charge of that.”

… Loh’s words might sound like manna to those hoping for light-blue bloodshed. Many of those sorts are merely tribal and not credible, but some actually crave honor. The whole lot of them, Loh included, cannot address the North Carolina case unless they grapple with a particular particular, and what it might mean within the NCAA rule book: The 3,100-odd students who got the fake courses, as outlined in the Wainstein Report of 2014, included in similar measure both athletes and plain old nonathletic students, crippling the notion that athletes received preferential treatment. It will be interesting to learn how the NCAA governs on that nutshell.

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