Word count: 548
On Monday last week The News & Observer whet its readers’ appetite about the upcoming hearing involving former UNC-CH African Afro-American Studies Department chairman Julius Nyang’oro. The hearing was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, however on Tuesday, the day prior to the hearing, the media (mainly McClatchy newspapers which are obsessed with bashing the reputation of Nyang’oro) announced that Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall was having second thoughts about following through with the felony criminal prosecution of the former professor because he had been so cooperative with the investigation into the athletic-academic scandal lodged by Kenneth Wainstein.
Although the UNC system under President Tom Ross prides itself in recouping the $12,000.00 paid to Nyang’oro for teaching a summer class which did not physically meet, it promptly set about paying Mr. Wainstein $990.00/hour and his associates in a range from $440-750/hour to conduct an investigation into whats/whys/whens/hows of the scandal. This investigation, which has already chalked up more than four months, has been estimated to last until this fall… and why not since the attorneys are getting paid by the hour. They’re going to milk this golden cow for all it’s worth!
Wainstein and his legal comrades evidently assured the Orange County D.A. Woodall that Nyang’oro was thoroughly cooperating with the investigation… a disclosure which seemed to shock the district attorney. Had Woodall, or his assistant D.A.s taken the effort to question the black professor prior to criminally indicting him, then perhaps Woodall mightn’t’ve been so awed that Nyang’oro’s behavior was sincerely helpful.
However, in North Carolina it is a common practice to arrest and even indict African American suspects without bothering to question them during an initial investigation. That’s what happened to Crystal Mangum, the Duke Lacrosse victim/accuser, in the stabbing of Reginald Daye. Bull City officers did not approach her an ask her for her side of the story surrounding the early morning physical confrontation. Instead they handcuffed her (arresting her for assault and battery in the stabbing of Daye), took her to police headquarters, read her her Miranda Rights, then began to interrogate her. A similar scenario played out in the murder charge against Knightdale resident Carletta Alston who spent a year in jail for the murder of her stepfather before being released with the charge dropped and without explanation.
Now it seems as though Woodall is going to be forced to drop his ill-advised charge against Julius Nyang’oro… and not for the reasons touted by the D.A. Woodall could care less about Nyang’oro’s cooperation with Wainstein. His concern is the unexpected collateral damage to administrators and others in UNC-CH upper echelon that a criminal investigation would expose.
The News & Observer last published that Woodall was in serious self-deliberation about dropping the criminal charge against Nyang’oro and that the hearing was still scheduled to take place on Wednesday. However, it was The Herald Sun, a Durham daily that informed the public that the hearing had been cancelled.
So it appears that this politically charged felony prosecution to destroy the reputation and life of Julius Nyang’oro (described by local media as being at the center of the UNC-CH academic scandal) is going to dissipate with a whimper instead of taking down another innocent victim with a bang. nn
UNC-CH Hairston scandal
Word count: 835
As far as scandals go, the one involving the abhorrent mistreatment of UNC-CH round-baller P. J. Hairston far outweighs that which was spawned by the media about the African and Afro-American Studies program that was put in place by powers at UNC-CH to surreptitiously enable academically challenged athletes to remain academically eligible to compete in sports… particularly basketball and football. The real scandal in the latter is that UNC system President Tom Ross is allowing the private law firm to conduct a worthless investigation at exorbitant hourly rates… this leading naturally to an increase in student tuition.
However, the P. J. Hairston saga was without doubt a tragedy that should never have happened… and one that could have been averted had the athletic department at UNC had a bulldog-like athletic director from the mold similar to NC State’s Debbie Yow. The NCAA wouldn’t dare to pull such shenanigans with State knowing that Yow would stand up for her players… especially star players the caliber of Hairston who are capable of bringing championship trophies to school showcases and meeting incentives that increase her compensation.
As it was, UNC-CH allowed the parasitic, morally-lacking and avaricious NCAA intimidate it and invoke a season-long suspension of the Tar Heels’ leading basketball scorer P. J. Hairston. The end result of this ridiculous ruling by that self-centered organization was that UNC-CH was removed from contention in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. As well as the team did without Hairston, it would’ve done a heckuvalot better had he been on the hardwood. Not only did the NCAA ruling destroy the Tar Heel season, but it was detrimental to Hairston himself. Despite being selected in the first round, his prospects would’ve been much better had he been allowed to perform during his senior year… possibly propelling him into a top ten selection. It is apparent that his play is NBA caliber, but the NCAA and the mainstream media have elected to represent Hairston as an irresponsible troublemaker lacking character.
What is sad is the phony reasons given for demeaning this student-athlete (who attended classes) and did everything he possibly could to appease the NCAA and be allowed to play his final season on the Tar Heel team he loved. Evidently the NCAA was not impressed and imposed the season-long suspension for the following: 1) an arrest during a traffic stop for possession of marijuana (the charge later being dropped); 2) driving a rental car which is considered by the money-crazed NCAA as being a dreaded impermissible benefit; and 3) speeding. Can you believe that? What a joke!
The media is now trying to justify Hairston’s NCAA suspension by writing that he’s owning up to his mistakes. A recent headline on the sports page of The News & Observer reads, “P. J. says he’s a better person: Hairston says mistakes are in the rear-view mirror.” What’s the big revelation about that? Face it, everybody makes mistakes. I made plenty of mistakes when I was younger… and with time, I matured… somewhat. Driving a rental car paid for by someone else and speeding are not what I would consider serious violations worthy of draconian punishment meted out by the collegiate athletic overseer. The action taken against Hairston by the NCAA was arbitrary, baseless, and cruel.
The same newspaper of June 28, 2014, contained another article titled “Manziel won’t tone it down,” in which Johnny Football, the star quarterback from Texas A & M, was unapologetic about his off-time weekend drinking and partying. He claimed he was going to live life to the fullest.
NCAA parasites went easy on Manziel when it was disclosed that he had signed sports memorabilia and earned a reported $7,500.00. For this violation he was suspended the first half of the first game of his last college football season at A & M. Part of the laxness of his punishment might have been due to the fact that the NCAA was making big bucks off of selling Manziel’s jersey on its online site… a lucrative business transaction which it apparently stopped after it was revealed in the media. But, that’s the creed of the NCAA – it’s okay for the NCAA to make big bucks off of Manziel, Hairston, and other college athletes but it would be considered an illegal impermissible benefit for the athletes themselves to do so.
I believe that the all colleges and universities would be better off by kicking the NCAA to the curb and building from scratch its own regulatory agency… one that would have the best interests of the athletes in mind and one that would do away with the “impermissible benefits” concept which is ethically conflicted. Also, I believe that some of the enormous profits generated by college sports programs should go towards compensating those responsible for it… the athletes.
Unfortunately, under the NCAA, P. J. Hairston and subsequently UNC-CH’s basketball team needlessly suffered. Even media articles directed towards justifying the barbaric treatment of Hairston by the NCAA cannot conceal that fact. nn
Change the name!
Word count: 399
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been unyielding in his determination to retain the “Redskins” name for his NFL professional football team. And it seems as though he has picked up a few supporters including former Redskins manager Joe Gibbs who claims the name has been positive for him. In an Associated Press article by Gary B. Graves, Gibbs is quoted as saying: “Never once did I hear anybody ever say anything negative about the name Redskins. It was always prideful, it was courage involved. We have a song, ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ and so everything, everything, about that name has been positive for me and my past.”
Also circling the wagons around Snyder on this issue are three Virginia legislators (Sen. Chap Petersen, Delegate Jackson Miller, and Delegate David Ramadan) who are forming a “Redskins Pride Caucus.” What a pathetic waste of time and effort… sounds like something North Carolina legislators might do.
The majority of civilized America, including a vast number of politicians and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office find that the Redskin name is disparaging to Native Americans and should be changed. Most important, Native Americans find the name to be demeaning and offensive.
What the Native Americans believe is overwhelmingly what should be taken into consideration. What Joe Gibbs thinks is irrelevant as he is not a Native American. So what if he finds the name Redskins to be prideful…? Who cares? And the three member Redskins Pride Caucus, to my knowledge, is not comprised of any Native Americans. But this threesome professes to be standing for the all-important principle of “commercial freedom”… which in a capitalistic society readily trumps morality, compassion, and common sense. Again, I say who cares what the Redskins Pride Caucus thinks. It is without Native American representation and therefore its position on the issue is irrelevant.
What I would propose to Mr. Snyder is changing the name from “Redskins” to “Warriors.” Washington Warriors… that has a catchy sound, and it would enable the team to retain its current logo. It is the word “Redskins” after all that is problematic, and a reasonable person would be able to understand that. Being an African American, I am naturally more empathetic with the Native Americans’ position than is Mr. Snyder… however, it’s past time for him to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins and re-evaluate his stubborn position. nn