Cam Newton’s name was butchered around campus, because he appears to be getting away with athletic violations at the University of Auburn. Whether or not Newton and the Auburn athletic department are guilty remains to be unknown. However, the University of Oregon is on the other side of a separate claim. Rather than facing teams with violations, the Ducks are side-stepping questions about former Center Michael Dunigan.
Dunigan signed with an agent and fled the country to play professional basketball in Europe. The Register-Guard reported that the University of Oregon athletic department allegedly violated NCAA rules when recruiting the seven foot center.
Normally schools defend these claims, with well thought out answers. Oregon, however, refuses to say anything about it. Instead, they’re hiding behind a bikram yoga stretch of the Buckley Amendment. The Buckley Amendment, also known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, blocks the public’s right to know what’s going on with a student.
Rather than dig deeper into the investigation, an anonymous Register-Guard reporter called the now retired Buckley and asked what he thought about implementing the self-named amendment on this situation. Buckley replied with distaste of the issue, saying this does not constitute an educational record as defined by the federal statute. UO officials, on the other hand, disagree, saying that athletics is indeed private.
What exactly should be broadcasted to the people of Eugene and the country about Michael Dunigan’s recruiting and of athletes across the nation? No, they’re not paid to endure the type of negative publicity professional athletes endure, but where does the gray area end and public opinion begin?
If an athlete or university is caught violating NCAA rules and regulations, the public should be notified in full. It’s better than ESPN covering half-stories on the topic, which creates exaggerated stories about issues that may or may not be accurate. Exaggerated stories filled with lies are the kind of publicity that college athletes don’t deserve, so get the truth out there and have the violators deal with public consequence.