A few years back, Reginald Hildebrand, who is black and is a retired professor of history who taught in the department of African and Afro-American studies, wrote a searching essay. He pointed to evidence that, made-up classes aside, it was an otherwise rigorous department.
He wrote of the fundamental conflict between the educational mission of a great university and “running a successful professional minor league franchise” such as Tar Heels basketball. A good coach, he noted, for a revenue-producing sport is paid more than some entire departments. When athletics sets the priorities, one cannot help but corrode the other.
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