Certainly a good question but one that cannot be easily answered apparently at the University of North Carolina. It appears that from 1993-2011, some school officials knowingly allowed students who were playing football for the university to attend “Paper” classes and receive very easy A’s & B’s. Why did they do it? It appears they did so to help the students remain eligible to play ball.

When others heard about the scandal they were appalled to say the least. One woman interviewed expressed outrage as she had to secure student loans and had to put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where she was. Those in the football program? They received (pardon the pun) a pass. A passing grade and literally a pass on doing some required academic work necessary to obtain their degree.

Reading stories like this go right to the core of all things honest and decent. Over the years you hear about things happening like this but usually they are nothing more than rumors. This time it is a reality and something needs to be done. What are we teaching our children about the importance of an education? About learning to fail, fall, get back up and learn from your mistakes and mishaps so you will be better for it? Some at the University of North Carolina don’t appear to be teaching it at all. Rather they seem to be demonstrating that if you are valuable enough to the institution’s well-being, shortcuts can be taken and exceptions made.

It seems to us that there are a few lessons here for all of us, a few reminders if you will.

First, it is important to take personal responsibility. One’s own integrity is the most important kind of integrity of all. It needs to be protected at all costs. When one of these students saw the manipulation of the system happening they should have broken from the pack and reported it.

Second, it is imperative that our colleges and universities be held accountable when such an egregious violation takes place. There should be a “zero tolerance” policy for such actions.

Third, it is in best interest to treat all students fair and to reward those who work hard and stay the course without taking illegal shortcuts. That kind of investment in one’s future will pay huge dividends down the road.