Thursday, March 3, 2016

I Rest My Case

I intend for this to be my last entry on this blog. After two years of blogging and making a documentary film, I have said all that I can say to counter the media's sensationalism and inaccuracies. The critics will remain in the media and on social media, and they will not see reason. None of them were willing to engage in a face-to-face debate, and so I am done trying to engage them, and I will be refraining from even bringing up the issues on Twitter. If you are reading this, you probably know the critics I'm talking about. I suggest you likewise disregard them.

After my film screens at festivals this spring, I will release it online and on DVD/Blu-ray this summer, and so I will continue to promote its message. As I often say when discussing the film, I believe the approach I took with it will be much more effective than the approach I've taken here and on Twitter. My film is more about telling other people's side of the story than combating critics. Reassuringly, the response to my film has been overwhelmingly positive, and I want to focus more on that positivity. Furthermore, I need to spend more time with my family and pursuing my true interests—indie film, language, literature, and Southern music.

To summarize this blog: The AFAM paper-class scandal was not an athletics-driven scandal. It was the result of a department chair's and his assistant's misguided efforts to help struggling students, and it was allowed to persist because of the deans' negligence. The academic counselors for athletes learned about the paper classes but had assurance from multiple deans that the department chair had the autonomy to conduct the classes in whatever manner he chose. Yet the counselors have received considerable blame, being scapegoated to protect the deans. Nyang'oro and Crowder were able to conduct some form of the paper-classes for nearly two decades without any deans addressing their substandard quality. Accordingly, this scandal should have demonstrated the neglect prestigious research universities show toward teaching undergraduates. However, the media saw a sexier story in an athletics scandal, and the University was content to allow that narrative to develop. As a result, good people have been hurt. Fortunately, most of those good people have been able to move on. That's what I hope to do, too.

Thanks to all those who have supported me. Please follow my film's Facebook page for updates on screenings. The film will be playing in Wilmington in a couple weeks at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival, and it will play elsewhere in NC soon thereafter. I've met so many wonderful alum over the past two years, and I hope to spend more time with you over the coming years. I'll be at occasional football games, a basketball game every once in a while, and most of the wrestling matches. Otherwise, you'll often find me at Weaver Street Market or elsewhere in Carrboro, spending time with friends and family.

Thanks again for all your support!
Though the storms of life assail us
Still our hearts beat true
Naught can break the friendships formed at
Dear old N.C.U.