Students, faculty call for Baptist university president's resignation
In 1999, Carlos Webb, a star basketball player at Gardner-Webb University, was caught cheating in his religion class. Three years later, the way the Baptist university dealt with Webb has led to faculty resignations, administration demotions, and calls for the president to step down.
Under the university's honor code, Webb was given a "cheating F." Supposedly, such grades can never be removed from transcripts, even if the student retakes the class. But according to The Chronicle of Higher Education (its deeply reported article is available only to subscribers), faculty athletics representative Jeffrey Tubbs didn't know Webb's F was for cheating and told him to retake the course. By passing that class, and with two As and a B in other courses, Webb would be able to play for the team.
When Webb took Tubbs's advice but was still ineligible because of the irremovable "cheating F," Tubbs admitted his mistake and athletics officials asked the school's vice president for academic affairs to cut Webb some slack. The veep refused, so they went to President M. Christopher White with the same request. He granted it, ordering the registrar in a memo to remove the "cheating F" and recalculate Webb's grade point average.
Webb not only played, but he was named most valuable player as the team won the National Christian College Athletic Association championship. His story, meanwhile, stayed quiet for two years as the school ramped up its athletic programs. It is now a NCAA Division I school.
This September, the spurned vice president revealed what had happened, and the school has erupted. White apologized for "a lack of judgment," but says he didn't violate school rules. ...1