CNN catches The Flagship in another “shocking” lie [Updated 7:30pm]

You may recall that CNN’s Sara Ganim was the one who broke the Penn State story in 2012 while she was with the Harrisburg Patriot News. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on that scandal.

Now, she’s caught The Flagship’s PR Machine in just another of a long series of lies. This time, UNC claims university officials didn’t have access to Mary Willingham’s research data and therefore hadn’t reviewed it (CNN):

UNC issued a statement Wednesday night saying it did not believe Willingham’s account of a basketball player who could not read or write.

It went on: “University officials can’t comment on the other statistical claims mentioned in the story because they have not seen that data. University officials have asked for that data, but those requests have not been met.”

As well as questioning UNC many times about the story before publication, CNN also detailed Willingham’s research and linked to her full study online.

And purported e-mail exchanges obtained by CNN since August show that Willingham did share her findings at least twice — once with Executive Vice Provost James W. Dean Jr., and once with a member of a university committee on academics and athletics.

In addition, Willingham says her research on the students in the athletics programs that make money for the university was done based on screenings that the university itself paid for. And, she says, she has gotten permission from the university several times since 2008 to access those findings to continue her research.

“It’s already available to them,” Willingham said. “It’s in their system. … They have all the data and more. It belongs to them, and they paid a lot of money for it.”

Last year, when CNN asked UNC for comment on Willingham’s research, officials initially denied knowing about it, and said: “Such analysis is not part of her job duties at the university.”

Then, after being shown the e-mails, a spokesperson admitted that Willingham did share her findings and did have permission from the university to do the research in the first place, and said a meeting with Willingham was being scheduled.

Apart from Wednesday’s statement, UNC has not responded to CNN’s request for an explanation.

For context, here’s the denial in question (WRAL):

UNC administrators questioned the accuracy of the CNN report, including a quote from a source who said a former basketball player who could not read or write. “We do not believe that claim and find it patently unfair to the many student-athletes who have worked hard in the classroom and on the court and represented our university with distinction,” the school said in a statement Wednesday.

Now, as one of the SFN resident lawyers pointed out, UNC saying it “we do not believe” Willingham is careful phrasing different from saying it was untrue.

Another point worth noting is that in 1989, N.C. State University held itself accountable by self-imposing crippling sanctions for what the NCAA, Poole Commission and SBI all found to be “minor infractions” nowhere near the scope of the UNC Scandal. There were no implications of players cheating or improper assistance by tutors or advisors under Jim Valvano. There was no University-sanctioned institutionalized academic fraud. There was no grade-fixing or faux majors and there were no no-show classes. Some players had poor grades and poor reading skills, but those who did not deserve to matriculate or graduate did not, in fact, matriculate or graduate.

Compare the response of N.C. State in 1989 — before swollen multi-million dollar athletic department budgets — to the arrogant elitism of The Carolina Way over the past few years: they’ve denied, stalled, scapegoated, and flat out lied every step of the way.

Remember how the scope of the farcical Jim Martin investigation reached all the way to the arbitrarily chosen year of 1997 – the same 1997 that just coincidentally was the exact year that Dean Smith retired? It did not matter to the super sleuths at ‘The Flagship’ that Julius Nyang’oro, one of the two masterminds the University alleges pulled off decades of academic fraud all by themselves and for no apparent reason or benefit, started teaching at UNC a DECADE earlier..or that Nyang’oro became the first and only chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies six years earlier in 1992. With this as a backdrop, does anyone actually believe that the administration and faculty REALLY want to objectively look into the depths and breadth and timeline of the academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill when they don’t know which of their idols might ultimately be implicated?

In other UNC-CHeats news, it was confirmed today that PJ Hairston is no longer enrolled at UNC. Remember how UNC played John Blake? Now that PJ Hairston is no long enrolled, he cannot be compelled to speak to the NCAA. How convenient.

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Home Forums CNN catches The Flagship in another “shocking” lie

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    You may recall that CNN’s Sara Ganim was the one who broke the Penn State story in 2012 while she was with the Harrisburg Patriot News. She won a Puli
    [See the full post at: CNN catches The Flagship in another “shocking” lie]


    Again, their arrogance is their own worst enemy. It’s their fatal flaw, and the only reason why any of this has even come to light. All they had to do with this story was acknowledge the data, say they “working on it”, and move on. But what do they do? They stone-wall a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and unabashedly lie to her. Way to go you pompous d-bags, you are making this too easy.


    I”m shocked, shocked to find such an upstanding bunch of PR flaks in a lie. I’m sure it’s all just a misunderstanding.

    Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy. Mao Zedong


    My Penn State buddy was bemoaning that with their James Franklin hiring sports columnists were opening up old wounds. He thought it might be for years that PSU presented themselves as “Holier than Thou” and this is payback by writers with axes to grind. I agreed and mentioned that same is happening with UNC. He countered that nationally they have gotten away Scott-free. “It is a local story”. I said that I hoping that might change now that Sara Ganim is now involved. And he agreed with that!


    They’ve lied to themselves for so many years that they don’t remotely know what truth is.


    I am enjoying the hell out of this.

    When I was in school, my friends and I always suspected UNC-cheat was easy as hell. We never thought they were this dirty.

    And here’s a couple of gems that have proven out over the years:

    I was at He’s not here in the summer of 91 or 92 and I overheard rick fox say “I haven’t been to class in weeks”.

    One of my friends who went to Carolina commented on tutors doing work for players.

    Our basketball team wasn’t clean, but it wasn’t an institutional thing. The school and its administrators weren’t breaking rules or even compromising their standards to allow these kids to stay eligible much less graduate.

    IMHO, as far as college athletic corruption, this is a much bigger story than Penn state. Unc-cheat did this to gain a competitive advantage. There was no risk of other schools trying to emulate Penn state.


    Go look at James Dean’s twitter account and you tell me if he is going to do anything other than stone wall and support the Athletics department. He’s a huge home and fan that has been in Chapel Hill forever.


    The more she digs, the more she could very well find corruption and cover-ups from the lowest rungs of academia to the doorstep of Ms. Marshall. Dare I say this may go beyond that fine institution into some pretty exclusive company. Though my tinfoil hat doesn’t fit as well as it used to, admittedly.

    I figure we oughta go ahead and get the petition rolling to take away this “Tar Heel State” monicker that’s never really struck my fancy.

    Popcorn is ready.


    I don’t think that Carolina’s head should be taken off of the “chopping block” by any means. But I really believe the “one and done” rule has done colleges and college basketball a disservice on many levels. If kids don’t want to go to college then don’t make them. I like baseball’s rule of staying for 3 years. At the end of this year Rodon and Turner will have to weigh finishing there degrees after 3 years vs entering the draft and there is a lot of merit to that. It would also cut out a lot of this crap of keeping kids eligible for a short amount of time and make them get to the point where they would have to pursue a major. There would still be manipulation, no doubt. My next point is that it would add to disparity in college basketball. We live in a world where John Calipari can recruit a new batch of studs for next season because he is losing all his guys this season. If the lower tear teams could go to big recruits and say come to my school and have an immediate impact or go to that high profile school and sit the bench, it would change the scope of recruiting dramatically.

    It’s a flawed system, but the NCAA’s propaganda about being there for student athletes is a crock. It’s all about the cash. We should be teaching kids to do what’s right, not teaching them how much they can get away with.


    ^The 3-year rule for baseball is a MLB rule, not an NCAA rule; same as the NFL. The NBA would have to dictate that rule, not the NCAA.


    Also, it’s amazing how much times have changed. “Pistol Pete” would have come to State back in the 60’s and played for Press. He couldn’t get into State at the time because of academics and his father left for LSU where he could get Pete eligible. As luck would have it “Storman Norman” took over and we recruited Thompson and the rest is history. But do you think anyone would turn down a kid like that this day in age?


    All I know is that this has the potential to be the finest schadenfreude I have slurped in years…Die, you cheatin’ Holes….


    Rogue reporters.


    Awww … you mean it’s not ‘Friday’ yet???

    I’m sensing photoshop opportunities!
    This pic is screaming out to have PJ, a gun, some weed, and Dickie B in it


    Making everyone in the the ACC, including Miami, look like Saints


    If the one-and-done rule had any impact here then: (1) Carolina’s baseball program wouldn’t be as dirty as it is and (2) this stuff wouldn’t have been going on for at LEAST 20 years. And, that’s just the academic fraud ‘stuff’.

    We all know the “Wheels for Heels” program has been going on longer than most of us have been alive.


    I would be looking for another job if I was in UNCheats compliance dept.


    “In the meantime, Willingham said she has heard from one branch of the university — the Department of Public Safety. Since CNN’s report, Willingham said she’s gotten four death threats, and more than 30 other alarming messages.”

    Classy move Holes.

    Prowling Woofie

    It goes back further than Prof Kangaroo… a good friend of mine played football during the Dick Crum heyday (Famous Amos, LT, and the rest, circa late 70’s- early 80’s), and he talked about having offers to write papers and do work for him all the time. He was an Academic AA, and didn’t need any outside help making his grades, however…

    They’ve been dirty for decades, and it’s common knowledge on campus amongst the student body. How can all the ‘students’ know about it, and not a SINGLE coach or administrator have an inkling ???

    Nuke ’em.

    TruthBKnown Returns

    “Now that PJ Hairston is no long enrolled, he cannot be compelled to speak to the NCAA. How convenient.”

    Sure he can… if he really is unhappy. From this WRAL article:

    “Following UNC’s decision not to seek reinstatement for Hairston, his family issued a statement that read, ‘We are displeased with the University of North Carolina’s decision not to submit the necessary paperwork to the NCAA requesting to have P.J. reinstated. This process has been long, and for it to end without having a final decision from the governing body is a shame.’”

    But I suspect he’s on the payroll now, and it is more than enough to keep him happy… and his mouth SHUT.


    “We all know the “Wheels for Heels” program has been going on longer than most of us have been alive.”

    I’ve talked to someone who was a recruit before I was born, who claims he was offered a car, and his girlfriend a job if he attended UNC.

    Not that the random word of a guy on the internet means much.


    “But I really believe the “one and done” rule has done colleges and college basketball a disservice on many levels. If kids don’t want to go to college then don’t make them. ”

    RedReid, I think you miss the point of the “Carolina Way”. They had a 100% graduation rate in men’s college basketball.

    All the players, who left early for the NBA draft, came back and finished up their degrees.

    It doesn’t matter if it was as far back as Jordan or as recently as McCants or anyone else from any era in between. They all came back and finished their degrees, so the university could say they had a 100% graduation rate in men’s college basketball.

    The one-and-done rule didn’t impact this much. The “Carolina Way” still got players back


    As far as why the national media is just noticing this now, I think it has to do with Nyang’oro’s indictment by a grand jury for criminal fraud because now there is something that has been proven to be more concrete, with regards to the scandal at Chapel Hill, than the shoddy internal investigations done by UNC and the NCAA investigation.

    In short, after the indictment, “there is a there there” to follow up on.


    Wheels for Heels since 1932 or thereabouts!

    google Tarheel Chevrolet…
    but according to the bossman there… only ‘Coaches’ got free rides…

    But be careful…. some of guys were riding up and down Dan Allen in ‘nice rides’ too … while guys like Mr. Stick and myself were walking or riding bikes.

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

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