SBD/September 18, 2012/People and Pop Culture

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp Resigns Amid Repeated Athletic Department Scandals

Thorp fired football coach Butch Davis following NCAA investigations
Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chancellor HOLDEN THORP, "beleaguered by two years of athletics-related scandals, will resign the position at the end of the academic year and return to a role that he always loved: chemistry professor,” according to Jane Stancill of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Thorp said that “no one asked him to resign.” He said, “It’s been a tough couple of years. I’ve been through a lot of things I didn’t imagine I’d have to go through.” Stancill notes the reaction on campus “was mixed, but many expressed sadness that the athletic mess had claimed a brilliant academic leader who struggled to manage it all” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/18). In Raleigh, Dan Kane writes the “athletics-related distractions didn’t end” after firing football coach BUTCH DAVIS following an NCAA investigation, that "found agents offering perks to players and a tutor fixing up their papers." An "academic fraud scandal" followed and “last week, a travel scandal emerged that raised much deeper questions about how beholden UNC-CH had become to big-time college sports.” Thorp “struggled to balance the competing demands of academics with a major athletics program” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/18). Also in Raleigh, Luke DeCock writes the “football scandal at North Carolina … claimed another victim” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/18). The NEWS & OBSERVER’s Andrew Carter notes the athletic department during Thorp's tenure “experienced unprecedented strife” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/18). In Raleigh, Caulton Tudor writes there is “a case to be argued that Thorp’s remaining time as chancellor might best be served by visiting each college chief executive officer in the land with a warning about what can happen when an athletics program gets ... out of hand” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/18).
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