Friday, May 06, 2016

Cruising the Web

Fred Siegel has a great response to an essay by Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine in which Sullivan worries that Trump's success portends the demise of democracy in America. Siegel remarks on how Sullivan simply elides over the impact of Barack Obama's presidency. Of course, Sullivan is an uncritical admirer of President Obama so that has left him blind to the effects of Obama's actions.
What Sullivan misses is that Trump wasn’t possible without Obama. You didn’t have to be a white, male, working-class voter to be stunned by Obama’s unprecedented assertion of executive power. Obama’s argument time and again was that he had to bypass Congress because he was in a hurry. When he claimed that things needed to be done quickly, he promised to govern with his telephone and a pen. He not only refused to enforce America’s border laws; he also claimed the right to legalize undocumented workers by executive action. He forged an international agreement with the Iranian mullahs by winning approval for the deal with the U.N.—bypassing constitutionally required support from the Senate. Obama unilaterally revised Obamacare’s rules without any pretense of seeking legislative approval.

It was Obama who showed that ignorance was no obstacle, and sheer demagoguery worked. When Obama spoke of the Austrians speaking Austrian, talked of 57 states, and referred to a naval translator as a “corpsemen,” it produced barely a murmur. When he met at the White House with the “activists” who incited those who laid waste to a section of Ferguson, Missouri, he instructed them “to stay the course.” That produced but a faint rustling.

Our postmodern president, a good friend of mine points out, has proved that facts don’t matter. The weakest economic recovery in post-World War II history has been sold as a rousing success. We increased our troop levels in Iraq, but miraculously we still don’t have any “boots on the ground.” The man who told his supporters, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” was sold to America by the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the networks as a post-partisan—one who somehow found a way to blame Republicans for all the country’s ills. Obama also showed that bullying the Supreme Court—calling them out for their Citizens United decision in a State of the Union address—could pay dividends down the road. An intimidated Chief Justice John Roberts used pretzel-like logic to redefine the Obamacare mandate as a tax, though the administration had insisted that it was nothing of the kind.

Most of the maladies Sullivan attributes to Trump were incorporated into American politics by the man he deeply admires, the man whose face alone, Sullivan suggested, proved his worth—Barack Obama. Sullivan rightly sees the danger of “democracy willingly, even impetuously,” repealing itself. That repeal began under the man sitting in the Oval Office today.
Of course, Democratic partisans don't see any of these actions as bad when their guy does it. If a Republican or Donald Trump acted this way, they'd be all over him. They might be willing to criticize Hillary Clinton when she is running against Bernie Sanders, but now that she's just about wrapped up the nomination, how serious will the criticism of her from Democrats be?

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Yup, this is a real concern.
fter Donald Trump is formally chosen as the Republican presidential nominee, he’ll be able to receive classified U.S. intelligence briefings, which could include some of the same sensitive information that President Obama is given in the Oval Office.

And that prospect has some spies sweating. Trump, who can’t seem to dam his stream of consciousness on Twitter, and who has lately taken to spreading rumors and conspiracy theories on national television, has never been privy to national secrets. Nor has he ever demonstrated that he’s capable of keeping them.

“My concern with Trump will be that he inadvertently leaks, because as he speaks extemporaneously, he’ll pull something out of his hat that he heard in a briefing and say it,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official who has participated in the process of briefing presidential candidates.

Unlike his presumed rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who would receive the same briefing if she’s the Democratic Party nominee, Trump has never sat across the table from U.S. intelligence analysts and been given updates on the latest machinations of ISIS, or efforts by foreign governments to penetrate American computer networks. He also has selected a team of largely unknown advisers who might have trouble helping him to contextualize what he might hear and know what questions to ask. (Of course, Trump isn’t under FBI investigation for potentially spilling secrets from his private email server, like his Democratic rival.)

Trump’s improvisational public speaking style, coupled with his penchant for making unverified—and unverifiable—claims, could make for especially tense sessions. Presidential candidates are given their briefings in highly-secured facilities, in part to impress upon them the sensitive nature of what they’re hearing.
“It’s not an unreasonable concern that he’ll talk publicly about what’s supposed to stay in that room,” said another former senior intelligence official.
I would think that, as a businessman, Trump would have some experience keeping things private that need to be private. But who knows about the guys around him? Of course, Hillary is the one who actually has a history of making it easier for enemies to find out classified information. I just hope they both will know how to keep secrets secure, but I have no faith in either of them. Jonathan Last wonders if Trump could even get security clearance if he were applying for a sensitive government job instead of being the GOP nominee for the presidency. I have the same question about Hillary Clinton.

The Labour Party's anti-Semitism scandal gets even deeper as we find out that the leader of the party, Jeremy Corbyn, made comments supporting Hamas and its supposed constitution.
But The Sun can reveal Mr Corbyn used an article in Communist newspaper Morning Star to defend elements of the Hamas constitution – described as a “horrific anti-Semitic document that calls repeatedly for the violent destruction of Israel”.

In 2006, he backed their claims to Israeli land as he wrote: “Hamas won the election both in the popular vote and constituency sections.

“It is a result that must be respected.

“However, the US and some of the European leaders seem to have some problem recognising this.

“Without any sense of irony, they have united in demanding that Hamas change its constitution and relinquish all claims to Israel.”

Our revelation sparked an outcry in the Jewish community because Hamas’s constitution - once branded “a modern day Mein Kampf” - calls for jihad against Jews which it claims have hoarded money, taken control of the global media and were even behind world wars to further their own interests.
Now that he's been found out praising the terrorist organization, he's claiming that he is against all kinds of racism but he's very equivocal about his condemnation.
At Prime Minister’s questions, Mr Cameron called four times for Mr Corbyn to withdraw his description of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”.

In extraordinary scenes, the PM raged: “Are they your friends or are they not?

“Because these organisations in their constitutions believe in persecuting and killing Jews.

“They are anti-Semitic organisations, they are racist organisations.”

Mr Corbyn refused to withdraw the description, but eventually said: “Obviously, anyone who commits racist acts or is anti-Semitic is not a friend of mine. I am very clear about that.”

He insisted he had been trying to promote the peace process in the Middle East, adding: “I absolutely do not approve of those organisations.”
Yeah, that is what he says now when it might hurt him and his party politically. But his previous words display what he really believes.

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The New Criterion derides the whole movement by college students to force administrators to kowtow to their demands to be protected from ever hearing something that might dismay them. Students have been presenting administrators with their lists of demands and administrators have been surrendering to all the requests for safe-spaces and special courses and acknowledgements of the past sins of whichever white men might have founded their university.
We suspect that all the new rhetoric about “trigger warnings” and “micro-aggressions” may be motivated in large part by a grubby desire for power masquerading as a desire for justice (and sweetened, of course, by the gratifying limelight of notoriety). But the unifying trope has also relied heavily on that invocation of safety. Many readers, we’d wager, will remember that pathetic Yale female, who, in the midst of screaming obscenities at the Master of her college, demanded that he step down from his position because he had failed to create “a place of comfort, a home” for students. Never mind that every one of the campuses that has made headlines is, physically, among the safest and most pampered environments ever contrived by the ingenuity of mankind. That’s one of the things that $65,000-plus per annum gets you: not only a large dollop of moral smugness but also a lavishly protected environment—Pampers, so to speak, for the spirit if not for the body.

It is worth acknowledging that the demand for “safe spaces” has a deep moral or intellectual component. What these battalions of crybullies want is to be protected not only from physical harm but also from anything that would challenge their settled ideas of virtue regarding race, sexuality, “the environment,” political responsibility, the Second Amendment (and, increasingly, the First), and so much more. It used to be that the very pattern of a liberal arts education was set by the figure of Socrates calling his interlocutors to debate about essential questions. What is the good life? What is virtue? Can it be taught? What is truth? How do we recognize it? How can one justify going to war? What is the best way to organize society?

....Today, by contrast, a college education, apart from whatever technical or administrative skills it may impart, seems geared to reinforcing a set of intellectual and moral clich├ęs and protecting its charges from confronting any idea that has not received its Good Housekeeping Seal of political correctitude. Enforcing a regimen of intellectual timidity fired by ravenous moral resentment, today’s colleges are in fact factories for the production of sclerotic, politically correct conformity on any contentious moral or intellectual issue. The spectacle of college administrations first inculcating and abetting this timidity and then capitulating to the groundless anger that it feeds upon would be comical if it were not blighting the lives of those it pretends to help. “We are,” as G. K. Chesterton observed in another context, “on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.”
I teach about the beginnings of the Renaissance in Florence and how the city fathers worried that they were not raising a generation of young people capable of leading and defending their city. Their solution was to develop what became the origin of our humanities education.
This new humanism also placed importance in the individual’s responsibilities of citizenship and leadership, including the participation in the political process in the community. The general humanism belief was that the scholastic type of education did not instill a respect for public duty.

It was controversial for the new humanists to believe that the ancient ways of thinking had been outgrown and that a person’s thoughts should no longer be of abstract speculation or rely on Christian thinking. Humanisms popularity grew as more urban residents learned of it. These people tended to object to the traditional education system that was monopolized by the clergy and effectively excluded them. They could see that the new humanism could include them.

Humanism relied on flexible thinking and being open to all of the possibilities of life and less concerned with the thinking of the past (antiquity).
Today, while college leaders might give lip service to providing students with a humanist education, they are betraying that noble tradition as they cave to students who beg to be protected from concepts that might upset them.

Well, at least Virginia Tech has decided that they were wrong to disinvite Jason Riley from speaking there because they were afraid that it would rile up racial feelings on campus. When Riley published the story in the WSJ, the university's president denied that he had ever been invited there to speak, but then Riley put up on Twitter the letter inviting him to speak and the president, Timothy Sands, has had to apologize. Riley has received a public apology. Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson comment,
None of this speaks very well of Virginia Tech. The funders of the BB&T lecture must be wondering whether the university has the fortitude to bring conservative speakers to campus without wallowing in excuses that compromise the spirit of independent exchange. The supporters of the business school must be wondering about the managerial chops of the faculty, who have managed to turn a minor contretemps into a major embarrassment, and who have served up the primary lesson that the mere possibility of a protest by leftist black students is good and sufficient reason to disinvite a black conservative speaker. And the supporters of the university as a whole must be wondering that its president, try as he might to position himself as a champion of free speech, comes across yet again as a temporizer who looked for a loophole to avoid having Mr. Riley speak.
What probably was the real cause of the school disinviting Riley is that they found out what he really thinks about the liberal agenda and how it affects African Americans. This wouldn't have been hard to do since he's written an excellent book with the title, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed. I'm sure they figured that that was a dangerous message for students to hear. Can't let them hear anything that contradicts the liberal prescriptions for helping blacks.

The Washington Examiner comments
on the long list of conservatives being prevented from speaking on college campuses.
Riley joins an growing list of public figures prevented from speaking on college campuses because of their conservative opinions. The list includes such people as columnist George Will, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the bravest and most outspoken opponents of Islamist extremism in the world.

But it also includes figures who can't be considered conservative, such as Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Smith College students pressed Lagarde into backing out of a commencement address in 2014.

By one tally, 300 disinvitations have been issued in the past 16 years. The suppression of opinions that challenge left-liberal orthodoxies has reached such an absurd level that a group of Yale students started an annual "Disinvitation Dinner" featuring remarks by people whose speaking invitations have been revoked.

Invitations are usually rescinded to appease a small, loud group of protesting students. But in some cases, as in Riley's, the rude withdrawal of the invititation is pre-emptive — adminstrators disinvite a guest merely because they fear that the speaker's remarks might spark objection. What fearful, mewling, unprincipled people such administrators are, capitulating even before their loudest and nastiest charges have made their tyrannical demands.

Students are more shut off than ever before from views with which they disagree. One study found that just 5 percent of colleges and universities uphold the First Amendment right to free speech.

In a column about his experience, Riley highlighted a 2010 study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities that found just 40 percent of college freshmen "strongly agreed that it is safe to hold unpopular positions on campus." By senior year, only 30 percent of students strongly agreed.

Happily, some prominent liberals are starting to realize that this sort of bullying to shut down expressions of conservative opinion is the antithesis of tolerance and open mindedness. Last year, comedian Jerry Seinfeld said he no longer performs at college campuses because the students are too politically correct. President Obama has warned of the increasing illiberalism on college campuses.

No one has made the case more persuasively than Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan last weekend. He told students that cooperating with people they don't agree with and exposing themselves to new and uncomfortable ideas is not only useful but among "the most important skills in the working world."

He called "safe spaces," and "trigger warnings" a terrible mistake and lambasted administrators who "bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas."

He was booed for his remarks. But, as the Washington Examiner's Ashe Schow noted, those students will learn very quickly once out of school that he was trying to prepare them for the real world.

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Don't despair, Republicans. Your presumptive nominee has a plan for winning Hispanic votes.
I can't even...

The Department of Justice is worried about the tender feelings of criminals.
An official with the Department of Justice said the agency will no longer call people “felons” or “convicts” after they are released from prison because it is too hard on them emotionally.

Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason wrote a piece in The Washington Post Wednesday saying “many of the formerly incarcerated men, women, and young people I talk with say that no punishment is harsher than being permanently branded a ‘felon’ or ‘offender.'”

Mason said the decision is not to condone their behavior, but to use words to help them reenter society.
So, since these words are so painful, the administration will use bulky constructions such as “person who committed a crime” and “individual who was incarcerated.” There. That should make it all better.

This administration likes to employ euphemisms to replace clear language. At PJ Media Debra Heine has compiled a list of some of this administration's other euphemisms in honor of their decision last year to use "justice-involved youth" instead of "juvenile delinquents." At my school, many of the students are involved in activities to advocate for rights. They might just as easily be termed "justice-involved youths" as the criminals Loretta Lynch is worried about. Here are the other euphemisms Heine has listed.
“Outliers” is their kinder, gentler term for “rogue states”

“Al-Qaeda core” are the al-Qaeda terrorists who survived the Bush presidency, then regrouped and multiplied under the Obama presidency. They are not in any way, shape or form “decimated.”

“Overseas contingency operations” is the Obama administration’s Orwellian term for ”the global war on terror.”

“Man-caused disaster”
is the Obama-speak for “terrorist attack.”

“Workplace violence” is how the Obama administration describes Islamic terrorist attacks that take place at work.

Violent extremism
is how the Obama administration prefers to describe Islamic terrorism or jihadism because it gives them an opportunity to lump in the KKK, IRA, and Nazi skinhead groups who all together commit about 1% (or less) of the terrorism we see throughout the world.

“Kinetic military action”
is how the Obama administration says “war” without upsetting anti-war groups.

“Leading from behind”
is Obama’s euphemism for his “CYA” approach to foreign policy. It translates roughly to, “we’ll wait until it’s too late to be effective, and when pressured, take some modest steps, but don’t blame us when the excrement hits the fan.” (Because it will.)

“Strategic patience”
is related to Obama’s “leading from behind” philosophy. The administration uses it in place of “dithering,” or “kicking the can down the road for the next president to have to deal with.”

The term ”dynamic global security posture” was used last February by National Security Adviser Susan Rice to describe — well — no one really knows. It’s pretty much gibberish.

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Here's some evidence to back up the argument that the Democratic Party has moved substantially to the left.
Experts say Sen. Bernie Sanders’ run for the White House, which attracted thousands of new, predominately younger and more liberal supporters, likely exacerbates the trend. Those voters, said Thomas Schaller, a political scientist at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and author of the book ‘Whistling Past Dixie,’ are “either unaware or utterly unconcerned about the ideological label wars that defined Democratic politics since the mid-1980s.”

Even without Sanders, the trend toward a more liberal Democratic base has taken place over more than a decade. The exit surveys from 2008 and 2016 mirror other polls that have plumbed the ideological contours of Democratic voters.

A Pew Research Center poll released in February showed 42 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents now call themselves liberals, up from 33 percent in 2008 and just 27 percent in 2000. Moderates made up 38 percent of the Democratic base, down seven points from 2000; self-described conservatives accounted for 17 percent, down from 23 percent at the turn of the century.

Though the Democratic base increasingly relies on fast-growing minority populations, the surge of liberals is coming mainly from non-Hispanic white Democrats, especially among younger generations. Among all white voters, 50 percent told Pew pollsters they describe their views as liberal, up from 28 percent in 2000. Forty-nine percent of millennial Democratic voters, those between the ages of 18 and 35, call themselves liberal.
I can remember when Hillary Clinton refused to call herself a liberal and always used the term "progressive" as if being a liberal were a dirty word.

This year is the 150th anniversary of one of the best novels ever written, Crime and Punishment. Professor Gary Saul Morson of Northwestern has an excellent essay analyzing the theories of crime that Dostoevsky was grappling with in the novel. Morson also finds some contemporary connections to Dostoevsky's thoughts.
When Raskolnikov reproaches him with his monstrous crimes, Svidrigailov points to the oddity of a moralist murderer, but he is also ready with excuses. If, as the progressives argue, people are wholly the product of their environment, if free will is an illusion, and if crime derives solely from bad social conditions, then how, he asks, can I be personally responsible? “The question is, am I a monster or am I myself a victim?” Besides, he continues, even if I have grievously insulted others, well, “human beings in general greatly love to be insulted” because taking offense allows them to feel morally superior. Why, people even seek out ways to feel offended! My students, who know just what Svidrigailov has in mind, appreciate Dostoevsky’s relevance.

David Harsanyi nails the "Zen fascism" of California.
In California, a 15-year-old girl can abort a viable baby without telling her parents, but starting now a married 20-year-old with a job and kids can’t buy a pack of cigarettes. Or get a drink. That same 15-year-old girl is banned from getting an indoor tan, and a woman must obtain, and give, “affirmative consent” before kissing someone during her college years.

No one can use foam takeout containers or plastic carryout bags or play online poker. This is a state that wanted to ban you from eating the livers of waterfowl. If the state discovers you’ve purchased raw milk, a confiscation team may visit your home to impound the supply. The sale of caffeinated beer is forbidden. E-cigarettes are now treated as if they were tobacco, even if they are not.

In San Francisco, where it’s illegal to light your own fireplace during Christmas, if you fail to recycle your trash correctly you can be fined up to $500, but you can’t get a toy with your Happy Meal because they’re banned. In Los Angeles, you have to wear a condom to make a porno, but you can have unprotected sex in Caligula-style orgies as long as you don’t film it.

Soon enough, rich Californians will again punish poor ones for engaging in habits they disapprove of by tagging cigarettes with an additional $2 tax. The state already has a sin tax on alcohol.

Rich Californians will again punish poor ones for engaging in habits they disapprove of by tagging cigarettes with an additional $2 tax.

California needs to the Supreme Court to tell it that regulating the content of video games is against the First Amendment, but its governor still believes forcing religious people to promote abortions is a-ok. And fear not, California was the first state in the nation to ban schools from using the term “Redskins” as a team name or mascot. It also banned the Confederate flag. Just in the nick of time, no doubt.
Just more fodder to prove that there is nothing liberal about liberalism.

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Sally Jenkins, who has become one of my favorite sports writers for her thoughtful approach to news stories, has an excellent essay about who and what is to blame for the whole Laremy Tunsil debacle at the NFL draft.
Up to this point, the NCAA just looked like a stingily Victorian organization, run by a lot of self-interested pocket-lining administrators. But after what happened to Tunsil, it looks like a potential breeding ground for extortion.

The point here is not that Tunsil could have shown more smarts or restraint. If Tunsil smoked pot, so what? Mississippi has decriminalized it to a fine. And if he used Ole Miss for money, well, where’d he learn that? Under NCAA rules, Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze earns about $5 million a year and can use Tunsil in any way he likes, while Tunsil himself is forbidden from accepting so much as an extra meal above board, all in the name of an out-datedly prudish conception of amateurism.

The worst part of this subterranean economy is the way it criminalizes the wrong people, for perfectly trivial behavior. Text messages from Tunsil’s hacked Instagram account, another little bit of vengeance, show that in February and April 2015, Tunsil texted Ole Miss assistant coach John Miller asking for financial help that amount to less than $500. It also shows Miller quibbling with him.

Tunsil: “Coach, Mom’s light bill is due. It’s $305. What should I do about it?”

Miller: “Wow — for one month??”

That a player with a million-dollar future had to scratch around for a couple hundred dollars so that his mother’s lights wouldn’t get shut off is the situation that presumably motivated him to accept help from someone a lot worse than an assistant coach.

There’s not a person in the pro or college football world that doesn’t have a pretty good idea of what happened: how Tunsil probably grew sick of having to grovel to the assistant, who made him feel like a thief for even asking; the growing awareness of the future awaiting him in the NFL coupled with the need-it-now frustration; the peekaboo teasers of wealth to come and overtures from the “runners” for agents trolling for clients, offering to front him what he needed in exchange for the ability to steer him come draft time; followed by the rage and the threats of exposure when the mutual use fell apart with the arrival of Sexton in Tunsil’s life.

The solution to this dark little revenge tale isn’t another NCAA rule. Nor is it more “institutional control,” as the NCAA likes to put it. Nor is it more lecturing of players on the evils of “advisors” who are unregistered with the NFL Players Association. To a certain extent, young players will always be susceptible to dishonest agents.

“Trust is a hard thing not achieved through a two-hour meeting with someone who sounds and looks good,” Brandt says.

How is anyone supposed to teach a young player what trust and honesty should look like in the current dishonest, hypocritical system? No reform can be meaningful as long as it’s built on top of these underground transactions. The only way to real reform is an above-board free market. Let players earn what they can earn, from their own likenesses, and from those who would pay them to play for a university. Let the next Laremy Tunsil say to schools that recruit him, “What kind of terms are you offering?”

Opponents of a free market in college sports say this is a doomsday scenario. But the scenario of doom already exists. Coaches and alumni have created independent funds for supplementing scholarships with cash. There are bidding wars for players, and an ever-widening gap between rich schools and poorer ones. All of this already is happening. To merely formalize it would be healthy, not unhealthy.

It would replace dirty money with clean bills, and make clear who the real criminal is. It’s not a kid who hits a recreational bong, or who seeks decent compensation for the sweat on his back, and who by the way had the frankness to own that in public without embarrassment. It’s the lowlife coward who would hack, threaten and try to extort under the cover of a corrupt system.
The NCAA will get all sanctimonious about a poor kid borrowing money to pay his mother's light bill, but then turn a blind eye to the years of academic fraud at UNC.
For years now, many in the men’s basketball community and beyond scoffed privately at the notion UNC would incur serious penalties, regardless of the severity of any infractions the NCAA established. Carolina basketball is a national commodity with significant stature and fiscal importance beyond the Smith Center. Tar Heel football hardly factors into the equation compared to a program with five NCAA championships and an annual series with Duke that draws top TV ratings.

Sure, other big-name programs such as Southern Cal, Penn State and Syracuse have been punished recently in either football or basketball. But none of those miscreants arguably maintained its elite status as consistently as the program shaped under not one, but a series of Hall of Fame coaches – Frank McGuire, Dean Smith and Roy Williams. Nor were those schools lauded as often as models of the proper balance in achieving both academic and athletic excellence.

Feeding the cynicism, the Carolina case apparently has the NCAA tied in knots over its role in policing academic fraud, despite perennially touting the happy marriage of academics and athletics at its member institutions.

Examples of punishment for manipulating academic standards abound. In 2004 the NCAA penalized Georgia’s basketball program in part for what was termed “egregious” academic fraud in awarding undeserved A’s to three players in a course on “Coaching Strategies and Principles of Basketball.” The class was taught by Jim Harrick Jr., an assistant coach and son of Bulldog head coach Jim Harrick. A memorable final exam question, with multiple choice options: “How many points does a three-point field goal account for?”

Florida State earned a stiff probation in 2009, and 10 sports forfeited scholarships and wins, including Bobby Bowden’s football program, because 61 athletes cheated with the help of academic personnel.

Carolina’s cluster of hollow classes endured far longer than the violations punished in either of those cases, and potentially tainted the eligibility of far more student-athletes.
But somehow, it doesn't count as academic fraud in sports if non-athletes also benefited from the phony classes set up to help athletes. As ESPN's Dana O'Neil writes,
On April 25, 2016, the NCAA issued a new Notice of Allegations, theoretically taking into account the new allegations involving women's hoops and men's soccer. The women's basketball team figures prominently in the new document.

Magically, the words "impermissible benefits," "football" and "men's basketball" no longer appear in the documents.

So gather 'round the rulebook, all ye NCAA conspiracy theorists, we have found Jerry Tarkanian's Holy Grail: The NCAA is so mad at the Carolina football and hoops teams, it's going to penalize the bejesus out of women's basketball.

Indeed, what initially looked like an insignificant announcement, dumped in between Deflategate and Steph Curry's MRI results, actually is quite huge. The amended document (not an amendment, which is a significant semantics differentiation) left more than a few people who know the inner workings of the NCAA more than a little bit stunned. As one person put it via text, "Big win for UNC today."

Because somewhere in the past year, in what most assumed would merely be a reworking of the Notice of Allegations to include the new potential violations, the NCAA flat-out removed accusations against the school's two flagship sports.

Now barring something unforeseen, improbable or a frankly downright winnable appeal, the NCAA will be hard-pressed to impose any postseason bans for the Tar Heels men's hoops team.
Set up phony classes to keep athletes eligible to compete and the NCAA twists itself into knots to avoid penalizing one of its star universities. Have a player get tattoos in exchange for T shirts and they'll drop the hammer.

This was fun. Take the ESPN quiz to find out which NBA team best fits you. I got the San Antonio Spurs which makes sense since they're my favorite team and the one I'd most like to work for if I were working for an NBA team.