All posts by Anthony Carter

A Review of UNC’s Ongoing Investigation into the Athletics Department

The University of North Carolina has been under ongoing investigation into the school’s academic program by the NCAA.

UNC-Chapel Hill received a 59 page notice of allegations that surrounded former student services manager, Deborah Crowder and former department chairman, Julius Nyang’oro. The NCAA reported that in the beginning of the 2002 fall semester continuing into the 2011 summer semester, UNC provided un-allowed benefits to student-athletes that were not available to the entire school.

The first claim in the allegation stated that academic counselors made special arrangements in the African American studies (AFRI/AFAM) department for the student-athletes. The academic counselors suggested assignments to the department on behalf of the athletes, and turned in papers for them.

Former federal prosecutor, Kenneth Wainstein found that when Crowder graded the papers, she gave the students high a’s and b’s without regard to the quality of the work.

Wainstein’s report said that Crowder and Nyang’oro felt sympathy for the students who struggled at UNC and wanted to give student-athletes in particular, “read access” to certain classes so they could manage their sport as well. Student-athletes in the revenue sports like basketball and football, faced the risk of academic ineligibility, so the academic counselors saw the AFRI/AFAM classes as a easy way to keep them eligible to play sports.  

According to UNC’s report, the counselors met with football coaches to present them a powerpoint on the benefits of the fake classes.

“We put them in classes that met degree requirements in which they didn’t go to class,” one of the slides in the presentation said. “They didn’t have to take notes, have to stay awake, and they didn’t have to meet with professors.”

Wainstein’s claim further noted that UNC has a 12-hour limit on credits for independent study courses. Because the courses in the AFRI/AFAM department counted as a regular course and not an independent study one, the university allowed ten student athletes to exceed the 12-hour limit.

Crowder in an affidavit, described the courses as “customized educational opportunities for students to solve problems created by the institutional bureaucracy.”

Crowder said that the courses were legitimate and denied the allegations that they were taught to help student-athletes.

After three delays in the hearing of the case, the NCAA said UNC was responsible for academic fraud, impermissible agent benefits, ineligible participation and a failure to monitor their football program.

UNC is expected to make a response to the NCAA’s allegations, and a hearing of the case will come at sometime in 2017 or 2018.

How the Ed O’Bannon Case, Ended NCAA Video Games

In June 2014, United States District Federal Judge, Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of  former athletes, Ed O’Bannon and Sam Keller whose names were used in an National Collegiate Athletic Association video game without their consent to do so.

O’Bannon, University of California at Los Angeles, stated that the league violated several anti-trust laws that blocked the collegiate athletes from making money on their images and names being used in tv/video broadcasts, jerseys and other profitable revenue streams.

Judge Wilken in a 99-page decision, stated that the league cannot prevent players from selling their name and making part of the profits. Her proposal set a cap on the amount of money that a division one football and basketball program would have to owe the players, and that the limit can not be less or exceed $5,000.  The money that the players would have received, would go into a trust fund until they leave for college – so a freshman could make up to $20,000 if he decides to stay for four years. 

“The court finds that the challenged NCAA rules unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by NCAA Division I schools.” Wilken stated in her decision. 

O’Bannon noted that college football players spend majority of their time either in the weight room, game film study, practice or are traveling to games. Most players that testified in court, said that it made it even more difficult to have a normal schedule like the other non-athletic full-time students. O’Bannon and the other past and present student-athletes viewed playing collegiate sports as a occupation and not so much as an extracurricular activity.

The  case was updated three months later when the NCAA took the lawsuit to the United States Supreme Court. The Ninth Court who were overseeing the case, overruled Wilken’s ruling to keep the league’s initial amateurism rule that was already in place – where schools have the option to cover athletes scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance. 

“We cannot agree that a rule permitting schools to pay students pure cash compensation and a rule forbidding them from paying NIL compensation are both equally effective in promoting amateurism and preserving consumer demand,” The three judge panel said in a statement. “Both we and the district court agree that the NCAA’s amateurism rule has pro-competitive benefits. The district court ignored that not paying student-athletes is precisely what makes them amateurs.

The conversation between student athletes and compensation will likely continue in the forthcoming years. However for college football fans, due to the severity of the lawsuits, the league decided to discontinue the making of NCAA video games.

March For Racial Justice Protest Prompts Change In D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump’s recent comments over the National Football League’s protests about injustice, only added fuel to the flame in the nation’s capital.

Thousands gathered in Lincoln park for the March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women. Both were separate organized rallies, but peacefully protested on the inequality amongst African Americans.

The March for Racial Justice was organized after the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez, who was a white Minnesota police officer that killed Philando Castile – an African American male. Castile’s mother Valerie, spoke with emotion at the march, and believes there has to be a change in the way African Americans are viewed in today’s society.

“My son was crucified in that car, and I miss him every day,” Castile said in front of supporters. “We have to stay unified, we have to stay in solidarity, and we have to march until we can’t march anymore.”

Supporters marched two miles past the Justice Department, Trump International Hotel, and ended with a rally in front of the United States Capitol. Several chants rattled through the streets of D.C. such as, “no justice, no peace – no racist police.”

“It was empowering,” Jamil Pines Elliot, who travelled from Pennsylvania with some of his peers at Elizabethtown College, said.  “It was great to be a part of something so monumental. It felt great to fight.”

Back in September, President Trump criticized players and coaches from the N.F.L. over kneeling for the national anthem. At a rally in Alabama, Trump noted that if fans would “leave the stadium” when players knelt, then it will put a stop to the protest. He also blatantly added that the owners should, “get that son of a b**** off the field.”

“The White House that sits behind us, is a house that was built by slaves,” local D.C. Reverend Grayland Hagler said with emphasis at the rally. “Slavery is the foundation of America. When we haul our black lives matter, it is because historically, black lives have never mattered in this country.”

The weekend of the march was also the anniversary of a three-day massacre in Elaine, Ark., where 100 African American activists were killed after protesting for fairer wages on white-owned plantations in 1919.

“We’ve come here to make a difference,” Activist, Gina Belafonte said. “We know that it’s been quoted that when good people stand by and do nothing, that is when evil happens.”

Field Hockey’s Senior Players Step Up And Shutout Drew To Snap Three Game Losing Skid

 

ELIZABETHTOWN, PA – The Elizabethtown College Blue Jays’ field hockey team were able to shut out the winless Drew Rangers in the first conference matchup of the season. The win snapped a three-game losing streak that put the Jays back at .500 overall. Senior forward/midfielder Emma Christman scored her fifth goal of the season in the first eight minutes of the game. She would later pick up an assist by passing through three defenders that set up graduate midfielder, Addie Stang, for her first of the season.  

 

“It’s huge for us to get this win. We’ve been down these past couple of games and have been right there but we weren’t able to finish,” head coach Brandy Michael, said with a sigh of relief. “So for us to come out and get five goals, especially in our Landmark opener is a huge confidence booster for us.”

 

Christman, freshman forward/midfielder Olivia Beachley, Stang and senior forward Allie Patterson, all scored in the first half. Beachley added her second goal with five seconds remaining in regulation to secure the Jays’ 5-0 win.

 

Christman is playing in her fourth year with Etown. This season, she was switched back to playing midfield to help the Blue Jays offensively and defensively. The senior forward from Kimberton, Pa averages 1.5 points per game, and has a career total of 27 goals and 13 assists.

 

“Emma did well, we moved her back to the midfield position so she could help distribute the ball,” Michael said. “It works great for us because she’s a great distributor and can still go up and score. I thought she did well today stepping up and being aggressive.”

 

Conversely, Drew struggled to find answers throughout the game. The Rangers did not have any shots on goal with some credit to the Blue Jays’ tough defense. Drew only has two goals this season with their last one scored back on Sept. 9 against Keuka College. The team is ranked last in the conference in shots and assists.

 

“Our defense has been doing well and they have been stepping up,” Michael said, “They’re not afraid to carry the ball outside of the defensive end to set up the offense.”

 

Drew will look to finally join the win column when they host conference rival Moravian Greyhounds (1-7) next Saturday Sept. 30.

 

The Blue Jays will remain home for their next non-conference game against Eastern University Eagles (3-5) on Wednesday Sept. 27.  Faceoff is slated to begin at 4:30pm ET.

 

“We’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing and work on our offense,” Michael said on preparing for Eastern. “We need to draw corners and we need to get shots off because defensively, we can hang with any team.”

How A Promising Basketball Star’s Life Was Cut Short On A Night In Philadelphia

 

Sitting in a pitch black room on a Saturday night in West Philadelphia, I listened to nothing but silence and frightening thoughts during a blackout in my neighborhood. My mother hugged me while she was on the phone with the electric company. I constantly thought about if my father would be safe returning from work. Then five minutes later I heard gunshots outside, people screaming for safety, police sirens rushing to the scene, and listened to the cry of a mother seeing her son laid out in the middle of the street.

Nights like the one I experienced made me nervous at a young age because I was unfamiliar with the environment. I was always waking up from nightmares of gunshots ringing in my ear. Philadelphia at one point was labeled as the murder capital of the United States with their increased number of homicides. My mother always told me that we were going to move out, but she had doubts in her words as she knew how difficult it would be to leave the neighborhood with the amount of money we made at the time. Conversely, as I grew older, I hit the point in my life of trying to figure out what my future plans and dreams were going to be to try and leave the community. Once I hit middle school, I received a life lesson that may have been a turning point.

One day in eighth grade, my counselor, Mr. Jamal spoke to our entire class on the importance of education specifically for young black individuals. He told us that in today’s society, black men between the ages of 17-25 without an education are viewed to either end up in prison or in the cemetery. We were taking our Pennsylvania standardized tests weeks after our meeting and Mr. Jamal told us that our scores determined how many prison cells the state will need to build in the future. That talk changed how serious I took education. To some people in the class, sports and making music is the only way to make money and escape the violent streets where they resided. My friend Kareem who led our basketball team to two championships with multiple high school offers, had the same mindset. He was looking to use basketball to leave his troubles behind.  

Kareem went to West Philadelphia High School, where he was the starting point guard for the basketball team for three years. People that did not know Kareem personally, saw him as someone who had a clear pathway to achieve the American dream that some students in the school would not get a chance to see. However, trying to envision that path to success was a bit blurry for Kareem. His father left him when he was young and his mother worked long hours so she was not always available.  Kareem’s life took a left turn when he made money selling marijuana and hung out with friends that were associated with a gang. Not having a close family member in his corner to prevent him from making careless decisions was an issue. After he graduated, Kareem turned down his only basketball offer at Nova Southeastern University. He felt content with how he made money and preferred to stay at home.

Kareem’s love for basketball all came to a screeching halt not only because he turned down that offer, but because his young life was cut short on a cold and rainy night.

When I was a freshman in college, I was asleep in my dorm room and suddenly received a call from one of my friends at two in the morning. She was crying over the phone while telling me that Kareem was fatally shot. I was left upset and unable to go back to sleep because I thought about ways I could have prevented him from staying out of trouble.

Kareem’s death was an eye opener because I reflected on our meeting with Mr. Jamal and that as an African American, I have a better road ahead with an education than a life without one.  

After speaking with Kareem’s uncle over the phone, he told me not to follow the path that Kareem went down and to continue to make better decisions.

“You have a gift that you have been blessed with of being able to attend college, to one day make six figures, and to live in the fanciest house in the world,” His uncle said. “Do not throw it all away.”