“Tarnished Heels” documents the efforts to uncover the facts of the worst combined academic and athletic scandal in the history of the University of North Carolina, America’s first public university. It is a sad tale of expensive and ineffective efforts at “spin” control preventing the UNC administration from admitting and correcting clear wrongdoing at an early stage in its now four year effort. The book shows that despite specific, repeated urging of both the Chairman of the UNC-Chapel Hill Trustees and the Chairman of the Consolidated University System’s Board of Governors to be quickly forthcoming and transparent, the administration repeatedly withheld facts until ordered by a court to disclose them or they were exposed by the investigative reporting of several news agencies.
“Tarnished Heels” reviews clear, and to date uncontroverted, evidence of many fraudulent no-show “classes” by faculty with the direct involvement of staff, athletic academic advisors to players, tutors and others. It is a sad story for we who received degrees from and truly love this great university. It is a reminder of the danger of “big time” athletics corrupting a university’s academic mission and demonstrates the vital role of investigative reporting and a free press in America.