The hypocrisy that is the NCAA’s investigative system never has been clearer than in the final allegations sent to North Carolina for its long-standing and systematic academic fraud.
The NCAA’s initial findings mysteriously put the focus on women’s basketball rather than on men’s basketball and football.
This was the case even though an investigation commissioned by the university said North Carolina’s fraud was certain to have gone back as far as 1993, with these statistics:
Among athletes taking the paper classes that required no work, 51 percent were football players, 12 percent men’s basketball and 6 percent women’s basketball.
The original NCAA charges against North Carolina went back to 2002. The amended allegations changed the starting point to fall of 2005.
Now, there’s a coincidence, since North Carolina won the NCAA title in men’s basketball in the spring of 2005.
The NCAA has vacated several Final Four appearances, including the Gophers in 1997, but never a title.
Our old pal Rashad McCants, the No. 2 scorer on the 2005 title team, went public with this: He took paper classes, and coach Roy Williams was aware he was doing so. A McCants transcript backed up the first part of his claim. And yet the NCAA failed to include his accusation or transcript in its allegations.
Minnesota received four years’ worth of probation when it was revealed in 1999 that office manager Jan Gangelhoff was responsible for 400 papers submitted by 18 basketball players. The Gophers also had six seasons wiped out of the records from the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1999.
North Carolina had two decades of orchestrated academic fraud, yet NCAA investigators turn into contortionists to avoid taking away the Heels’ glory in men’s basketball.
Mary Willingham, a whistleblower in the North Carolina case, said: “The NCAA is just protecting the revenue-producing sports. Follow the money.’’
From here, it’s even more a case of the NCAA not wanting to take back the ill-gotten championship trophy awarded to McCants and Co.
PATRICK'S PLUS THREE
MLB teams that hold my attention, what with the Twins being extinct on Mother’s Day:
St. Louis: Thanks to KMOX’s clear signal sending games across the Minnesota prairie, I’ve been a Cardinals fan since the 1950s.
San Francisco: Thanks to Willie Mays’ catch in first World Series I remember (1954), the Giants have been my 1-B in the NL.
Detroit: Miguel Cabrera’s personality and hitting excellence have made him the favorite player of this era.
Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.