We expect that he’s a fine professor, but Jay Smith just can’t be very popular with the UNC administration or possibly his own department for that matter. And with the athletic department?
Dr. Smith (no one ever calls him Dr. for some reason), teaches history with a primary focus on France. He focuses mostly on the 17th and 18th century with some interesting secondary interests such as the beast of the Gévaudan.
More recently, his interest has turned to the UNC athletic scandal. From his UNC bio: “His most recent book, written with Mary Willingham, provides an exposé of the UNC athletic-academic scandal and an assessment of the educational culture fostered in big-time sport programs.“
That hasn’t gone over real well.
Smith had designed a class about the scandal called “History 383 – Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956 to the Present.”
His department, not exactly showing a lot of courage, dropped it allegedly because they were scared of the university’s reaction. After a bit of an uproar, he will be allowed to teach it this coming spring.
Along the way, he managed to significantly piss off UNC A.D. Bubba Cunningham, who suggested that he might as well teach the class as Smith and got his panties in a wad over the whole business.
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