Most Active Stories
Hosts, Reporters and Producers
Fri January 17, 2014
The UNC-Chapel Hill Sports/Academic Scandal - A Quick Rundown
Over the past week, a new iteration of the UNC-Chapel Hill sports/academic scandal has been making headlines.
It all started when Mary Willingham, an academic advisor for the school (she formerly worked with athletes, specifically), told CNN that she had worked with athletes who were functionally illiterate. She said she had looked into a series of tests the students are required to take their first semester at the school, and the tests revealed that many of the athletes had reading levels below that of an 8th grader.
The university disputed these claims, but was unable to make a more detailed statement for several days while they reviewed the data Willingham had looked at. In those days, the story got national attention, even making it onto The Colbert Report.
Just before the taping of Colbert, Chancellor Carol Folt put out a statement contradicting the findings of Willingham. Friday morning, Willingham's research privileges were revoked. She sent us this statement:
My co-investigators and I will re-apply for IRB status. The gap in academic preparedness between profit sport athletes and students at NCAA DI institutions perpetuates educational inequality. Until we acknowledge the problem, and fix it, many of our athletes, specifically men's basketball and football players are getting nothing in exchange for their special talents.
Later Friday, the chancellor met with the university's Faculty Council to discuss the issue.
Of course, this follows a string of problems regarding bogus classes (seemingly) designed to give athletes an easy A.
To get some perspective, WUNC's Phoebe Judge spoke with Luke DeCock, sports columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer.