About

My name is Jonathan Weiler. I teach Global Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and, in my spare time, I like to vent about some of the things in the world that irk me, including politics and sports media. Oh and yes, I’ve had something of a lifelong obsession with sports. I am also a Yankee fan, so if you are a Yankee hater, feel free to gloat (just don’t do it profanely). Here’s a link to my archived articles at Huffington Post, for which I periodically write.

6 comments

  1. Just saw your article at Huff Post regarding ESPN/NFL and concussions and followed that to your blog. Very interesting – I’ll be checking in regularly. In particular, I’ll be checking in to read you discuss the fact that ESPN to my knowledge has still not mentioned the fact that any number of UNC-CH students athletes received credit for what appear to be bogus classes.

    I will admit that I have debated many of my University of Kentucky brethren that the last thing we want is the NCAA determining what is and what is not considered to be “adequate” coursework for which a student-athlete is given credit. Nonetheless, from a pure sports “journalism” perspective, it’s hard to justify what has happened at UNC-CH not even being reported at ESPN.

    Full disclosure – I am an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama having just arrived here from Clemson University.

  2. Thanks. I should have been more clear – I’ve not seen anything on ESPN (the television network) about it although I will admit I don’t watch 24/7/365. I certainly don’t see it being covered in the way it would be if it were, say, Kentucky. 🙂

    Just curious, what is your thought on it? I’ll reiterate – I believe that ultimately it is the institution’s right to determine the content of any class, even if that means there are classes for which there is little to no direct instruction or work required. However, it’s surprising that it would happen at a place like UNC-CH. And at that personally believe this was not systematic across multiple departments, but rather one person who seemingly wanted to gain points with the athletics department.

    1. Tom,
      UNC actually was in hot water this spring with SACS – the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – UNC’s accrediting body, over this issue. So, while schools have very broad latitude to determine their own standards, there are limits to that and I think that’s right – the institutions should have some external accountability, and accreditation, however flawed, is a way of providing that. I think lots of folks at UNC-CH have found this episode very sobering. The school has always been proud of its ability to field top notch teams alongside top notch academics and we really can’t strut around saying that any more, at least not to the same degree we did before.

  3. Very nice blog, now I don’t have to sit through countless hours of watching ESPN. I thank you and my wife thanks you. I like your out of the box material, would you ever be interested in contributing your articles to another sports site at http://www.kcsportsninja.com? We are in the fox sports blog network so we get a lot of views and could push traffic to your site as well. Let me know if you are interested at kcsportsninja@gmail.com

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