Probation at UNC

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

Attention is focused on what the NCAA will do to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to punish it for a loss of institutional control over its athletics programs. Another disciplinary measure announced Thursday may be the saddest.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the commission that accredits UNC-Chapel Hill, has given the university 12 months probation for failing to meet seven standards, including academic integrity, and a failure to monitor college sports.

“It’s the most serious sanction we have,” said Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges.

Championship banners and coaches being in NCAA jeopardy are one thing. But when an accrediting agency finds that a university has failed to meet a standard of academic integrity, the university’s soul is at risk.

This kind of sanction is rare for a major university. Usually it applies to small, financially struggling schools that can’t meet standards.

In the aftermath of the scandal, nine university employees have resigned, been fired or been placed under disciplinary review. The university has adopted some 70 reforms.

All that is appropriate, but reform must continue. The nation’s first public university and one of its best has been brought low by a blind devotion to sports.