Softpedaling at UNC

From an editorial Wednesday in the (Raleigh) News & Observer:

Perhaps, from a person who’d rather talk about a lacrosse stadium and luxury boxes for the Smith Center basketball facility, this was to be expected.

In a radio interview shortly after the ink dried on the Kenneth Wainstein report, UNC Chapel Hill’s athletics director Bubba Cunningham appeared to be downplaying the report and the possibility that the university might be sanctioned for an 18-year period when athletes (and, yes, non-athletes) used bogus courses to increase grade point averages.

“It’s really starting to sink in that there was maybe one, two, three classes for somebody, so that might be six or nine hours out of 120 that it takes to graduate,” Cunningham said. “So it’s shocking, but as you have a little more time to look at it, it’s not quite as bad as I was thinking it was 48 hours ago.”

Chancellor Carol Folt needs to rein in Cunningham and any others who might rationalize the monumental embarrassment of the report. The way to overcome what has been a humiliating episode is to face it and fix it. Trying to “spin” it in any way will just make things worse, and that’s the last thing the university needs.