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Governor Martin Updates N&O on Academic Investigation

Lance King - Getty Images

Former NC Governor Jim Martin stopped by the News and Observer today to provide an update on the status of the investigation. UNC beat report Andrew Carter tweeted out various nuggets from the discussion. Here are the highlights.

  • The original goal was to have the investigation finished by October 11th but now it is looking like the end of this month, possibly longer.
  • Martin indicated that the AFAM classes were not the easiest at UNC but rather other departments have higher grades on average.
  • The stated purpose of the probe was to discover when the issues found in the AFAM department started and if it extended to other departments. He also said the investigation is not about finding "easy classes" but rather if classes were "irregularly" taught.
  • Former AFAM department head Julius N'ynagoro and former administrative assistant Debbie Crowder have not spoken to the probe nor does Martin expect them.
  • Key quote: "I haven’t found anyone that knew that the courses were phony."

    In addition to that, Martin says everyone he has talked to in the athletic department acknowledged knowing certain classes were easy but thought they were legitimate. Tutors and academic advisers also said it was their job to ensure athletes had a manageable course load. Martin was asked if the AFAM classes were a "scheme to keep athletes eligible." Martin reiterated the point about tutors simply working to help athletes into courses they could handle.
  • Martin confirmed that UNC contained the investigation to 2007-2011 because that was the Butch Davis era even no one will admit it. When the Julius Peppers transcript was leaked, there was a realization it went back farther and should be examined.
  • Martin was asked about UNC's viability as a national contender in football. He pointed to personnel needs and that it was possible but very difficult.
  • According to Martin, the NCAA and whatever it might do, has no bearing on his work. If there are indeed NCAA issues, UNC will need to deal with it.

Glean what you might from that which isn't much though many among UNC's rivals and critics are already crying foul. There is a feeling that Martin's statements today indicate he isn't doing his job and the investigation is pretty much a sham. Granted, these people will largely judge the investigation based not on whether it arrives at the truth but if it produces damnable offenses for which UNC can have banners taken down. Or as T.H. so aptly noted on Twitter.

If the result of the Martin investigation was "Burn down the Dean Dome" folks would cry bias because they didn’t salt the earth.

The problem is most of these people have an operating assumption that wrongdoing extends beyond what we already know. That assumption has its merits based on Julius Peppers transcripts and other facts that have arisen. However, that assumption is so overarching, there isn't much allowance(that I've seen) for the possibility this isn't any worse than what we already know. There is no room for the notion that the investigation could be done by the book and still find little more. People are convinced UNC should be leveled by the NCAA and anything short of that in Martin's final report will cause the investigation to be viewed as a sham.

Speaking myself, I will simply wait for the final report and the NCAA's response then make my own judgment .