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September 2015 Vol. 53 No. 1

Potomac Books, Inc.

The following review appeared in the September 2015 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Science & Technology
Sports & Recreation

2014-42237 MARC
Smith, Jay M. Cheated: the UNC scandal, the education of athletes, and the future of big-time college sports, by Jay M. Smith and Mary Willingham. Potomac Books, 2015. 280p index afp ISBN 9781612347288, $26.95.

Of the many high-profile scandals that have besmirched college athletics in recent years—including those involving Heisman trophy recipients, head coaches, and many players at Penn State University—arguably the one that provoked universal condemnation was at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  At one of the nation’s most respected public universities, players, faculty, and administrators engaged in wholesale academic fraud—fake courses, plagiarism, and grade tampering.  In Cheated, UNC history professor Jay Smith and former UNC athletic administrator Mary Willingham chronicle the widespread use of, and institutional attempts to cover up, a litany of shameful activities on that campus, all designed to preserve and protect the university’s programs and revenues in football and men’s basketball.  In a thorough, chilling, well-documented, step-by-step account—from recruitment and admissions to the daily care and feeding to student advising and the complicity of faculty, the athletic department, and coaching staff—the authors meticulously lay out the patterns of systemic corruption and lack of institutional control.  This book should be required reading for everyone, both those on campus and fans in the stands or in front of their flat-screens.

--A. R. Sanderson, University of Chicago

Summing Up: Essential. All readers.