F or many people associated with this University, Wednesday’s release of the Wainstein report was almost cathartic. It is nice, in some ways, to have everything out on the table, to have the denizens of Pack Pride message boards no longer be the reigning authority on UNC’s misdeeds.
But the Wainstein report doesn’t solve our problems — it only details them. Two questions that we and the University remain tasked with answering are why this happened and what’s next? Over the long term, we must address the conditions that incentivized these violations and remove them from this University and its athletic department.
It is crucial that UNC be a national leader in this regard. Students and fans should be unequivocal in their call for increased transparency and reform, not only at UNC but throughout the structures that govern the national relationship between athletics and academics. Though the academic fraud detailed in the report seems to be a thing of the past, the pressures that led to it are not.
This problem did not begin with Deborah Crowder, and it has not ended with her departure. A popular topic of debate is whether this was an academic scandal or an athletic one. While non-athletes did benefit from paper classes, it seems beyond question that they were created with athletes in mind. UNC and hundreds of other schools around the country are still in the business of admitting and keeping eligible many student-athletes who are in no way prepared for the rigors of university-level work.