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Students explore sports controversies in new interim class

Liam Webster
Students in the Crime and College Sports class watch a video about the University of Michigan basketball scandal. The scandal famously involved players taking loans from booster Ed Martin, who engaged in money laundering and an illegal gambling operation.

In 2003, Hall of Fame power forward Chris Webber was banned from any affiliation with the Michigan Wolverines basketball program for 10 years.

Webber was banned because he was the main benefactor of the University of Michigan basketball scandal concerning the infamous Fab Five team that Webber led to back-to-back NCAA finals in 1992 and 1993 when Ed Martin, a booster for the Michigan basketball program, was found to have given loans to players.

Most notably, Webber received amounts estimated upwards of $200,000.

The “Crime and College Sports” Interim Term class taught students about many scandalous cases that stood out in college sports history, such as the Fab Five scandal. The class explored thought-provoking questions.

Upper School math teacher Ms. Nadine Ghosn and Upper School dean Ms. Jackie Blumenthal taught the course and deepened their understanding of the cases to provide a clearer understanding of what happened, as well as to facilitate student discussions.

Ms. Ghosn said she chose to teach the course because of her love for sports at all levels. She also wanted to show how the pressure put on athletes, especially young ones, can lead to ill-informed decisions and situations students learn about in this class.

Ms. Blumenthal said she was drawn to the class for two reasons: Her love for sports and because, as a college dean, the content covered in the class fit well within her area of expertise.

In the final week of class, the students researched their own cases and created presentations to showcase their research.

“We made a slideshow for our presentation,” said sophomore Henry McFaul.

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