Willingham stands firm, has proof, offers to meet Roy

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    Dan Kane and Jane Stancill (N&O):

    Mary Willingham, the UNC learning specialist who blew the whistle on a long-running academic fraud, said Friday that if men’s basketball coach Roy Williams does not believe one of his players couldn’t read or write, she will show him proof.

    University officials say they have asked Willingham repeatedly for the data behind those findings; she has declined because that would identify the students. She said she is bound by research regulations not to do that.

    She said she knows that one of Williams’ players could not read.

    “I stand by what I said, and if he wants to meet with me and go through his players, I’d be happy to share that,” said Willingham, who worked in the tutoring program for student athletes from 2003 to 2010. “I have his scores and … I’m the one who taught him.

    “I went to a lot of basketball games in the Dean Dome, but Roy never came and sat with me while I tutored his guys.”

    UNC has said only the department chairman, Julius Nyang’oro, and his longtime assistant, Deborah Crowder, were behind the fraud, and that it did not have the intent of keeping athletes eligible. Athletes, who make up less than 5 percent of the student body, accounted for 45 percent of the enrollments and half of the grade changes.

    UNC continues to withhold information that would shed light on the scandal, particularly the athletic enrollments in the earliest known fraudulent classes. The first three confirmed classes were Swahili language courses.

    Dean said he thinks the scandal was not about athletics because non-athletes made up 55 percent of the total enrollments. He did say the athletes benefited “disproportionately” from the no-show classes but there’s no evidence to suggest an athletic motive.

    The enrollments of the earliest known no-show classes could provide clues as to how the scandal started. He said he had not been focused on finding that out and was not aware that The N&O was seeking that information.

    “I appreciate the suggestion, and it sounds like something maybe we ought to take a look at,” Dean said.

    The N&O has been pressing the university’s chancellor, legal and communications staff for this information for several months.

    UNC system President Tom Ross has not sought the information. On Friday, he had no comment on Willingham’s research other than he knew the university was seeking to vet it, and he wanted to know the result.

    “We need to look at those facts to see what, if any, research was done and what it shows,” he said. “I don’t think we have the information about that at this point.”

    The CNN report is the latest in a stretch of national reports about the academic fraud since New Year’s Eve. Ross called the national attention “a distraction.”


    This lady has a set of stones. Between her, the pulitzer prize winning CNN lady, the BusinessWeek guy, and Dan Kane, I really think the Holes are up against it. The fact that they continue to deny and stonewall this group of people is mystifying. I can’t believe they are paying a PR firm for this strategy.


    Carolina/Roy need to be VERY CAREFUL about how they tread here. Have they learned NOTHING about how much they DON’T KNOW every single time one of these stories have broken over the last 4 or 5 years?


    Tom Ross. Are all system presidents this …well …stupid?

    Every single word he utters appears to be in contradiction to the previous.

    He wants to look at “..those facts.”
    Yet questions whether any research was done. Research that was bought and paid for by UNC, and apparently in its possession. WTF?


    Best thing for the Big Blue PR Machine to do is… ???
    Pick One:

    • Whisper Softly and Repeatedly
    • Nod Knowingly When Asked the Right Question
    • Point a Polite Finger
    • Throw the NCAA Under The Bus
    • All of the Above

    ^THIS is what the Invisible People Behind the Media really want…. They could care less about what happens or doesn’t happen, as the case may be, in Orange County.

    If the Big Blue PR Machine does ^THIS…. and follows up with…..
    “The Devil made me Do It” and the “Blame It On the Culture and Environment” defenses and then with sincere contrition and confession and “If everybody else will stop… We will too… and We ALL promise never to do it again”.

    The “Only Way Out” for *NC is to become the National Leader/poster boy for “Total NCAA Reform”.

    Think Chuck Colson, Olie North, a few good Preachers and others who have successfully followed this course.

    Imagine Johnny, Holden, Butch, Roy, N’rangoo, Crowder — all of the — sitting on the front row of First Baptist Church on Roberson Street…

    And it’s either sad or ironic that no one at Idiot Central has come up with this solution.

    Hey…. Has anybody heard anything from Our Man — Burley lately….
    I’m sure he has something noteworthy to say about all this.

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

    Arrogant elitism in its purest form.


    If Mary and Roy do end up ‘meeting’, they should sell tickets. They’d make a friggin’ mint.


    I wonder if Roy will bring his BB gun?


    Is this Chapel Hill or Washington? Is there a difference?


    Ol’ Roy’s response – “ignorance is bliss.” What a dickhole.

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