Owen needs to explain more than her failure to mention to anyone a grotesque situation in the AFAM department. In response to a “Board of Governors member who asked [Owen in 2012] if the academic support staff was steering athletes to particular classes,” she responded:

“I hope not. I believe that they understand their responsibility to support the student and to help them make wise choices, but it is not in their purview to direct students to particular courses.”

However – given the fact that she’s been disciplined – she probably knew perfectly well that that’s exactly what was happening: Academic support staff were steering athletes to bogus classes.

Then there’s Owen’s remarkable lack of curiosity.

[Owen] learned roughly nine years ago that the department was offering far more independent studies than it could manage, and told [head of AFAM chair Julius] Nyang’oro to reduce them, the report said. But she never investigated why there were so many in the first place.

Yes, Julius, how about bringing them down from 150 to, say, 100? That would be more seemly…

It all makes UD nostalgic for Thomas Petee, chair of Auburn University’s “dumping ground for athletes,” aka the sociology department. Petee, like Nyang’oro, worked his balls off, typically taking on dozens and dozens of independent study students a semester.

Indeed, keep in mind, if you want to create a dumping ground for athletes in your university, that these guys – Petee and Nyang’oro – were both department chairs. That’s important. For bogus course schemes to work at maximum efficiency at sports factories like Auburn and Chapel Hill you really need a department chair to run them, because chairs have more institutional power than regular faculty, and because regular faculty in totally deeply corrupt departments can be counted on to keep their traps shut. They don’t want to piss off the chair, who must be hugely powerful – untouchable – if he’s able to get away with what he’s been getting away with for decades.

It’s obviously icing on the cake if you’ve got a dean in on it too.

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