COLUMN: The University will not tell the NCAA it is wrong, but we will

Jenny Surane is the 2014-15 Editor-in-Chief. She is a senior business journalism major from Cornelius.

One of the things they task you with when you become Editor-in-Chief is consistency.

The Daily Tar Heel Editor-in-Chief should continue the newspaper’s longtime legacy of excellence. She should uphold its tradition of defiance.

While it’s never an easy task, it’s usually the editorials that require us to heavily rely on what we’ve said in the past as a basis for what we print today.

Today’s front page editorial acknowledges that it breaks with The Daily Tar Heel’s tradition of calling for a total reversion to amateur college athletics. Instead, the editorial board and I spent many hours crafting a more nuanced response to the factors behind the University’s athletic-academic scandal.

I worried immensely. As someone responsible for consistency, a total break from tradition scared me. Henry Gargan, The Daily Tar Heel’s Opinion Editor, offered these valuable words:

“If anything, The Daily Tar Heel’s legacy is that each year a fresh set of eyes appraises the issues that this place always has to deal with.”

So, dear reader, understand that these fresh eyes, along with the eyes of many accomplished board members, spent many hours laboring over this editorial.

We interviewed key figures on campus — including Faculty Athletics Committee Chairwoman Joy Renner and Department of Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham — and gleaned powerful feedback when devising our proposal. No one was totally on board with our ideas, an opinion they’re completely entitled to. But we believe we filled the holes they poked in our argument.

And then came the decision to put this thing on our front page. To make it visually arresting. To make it the only content people see in our newsstands in the morning.

That decision was easy.

The University of North Carolina won’t tell the NCAA it’s wrong, but we will. We can scream it. In big letters with powerful photos and precise editorials.

We believe we’re in a position to lead, despite the fact that the Wainstein report brought this University to its knees.

So that’s what we are calling for.

And you might have questions about how our proposal will work. I invite you to meet members of the editorial board and me at Linda’s Bar and Grill on Friday at 2 p.m.

We are your newspaper, and we want to hear from you.

See you Friday.

Thanks for reading.

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