Former UNC academic advisor Mary Willingham not to testify

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Mary Willingham (CNN)

The academic advisor and whistleblower who reported some UNC Chapel Hill athletes were reading at a fourth grade level told ABC11 Saturday that her invitation to testify this week before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has been cancelled.

WTVD-TV reported that the hearing Wednesday will focus on the welfare of NCAA athletes.

Mary Willingham stepped down from her position at UNC amid the academic scandal saying “it was a hostile environment and I was demoted and stripped of my title.”

Saturday, she said she was told that Senate Commerce Committee chair Sen. Jay Rockefeller had decided not to include her testimony.

“Perhaps I was replaced by a profit sport athlete. Our DI profit sport athletes deserve a voice at the table, not to mention the right to a real education in exchange for their talents,” Willingham offered.

Based on test scores, Willingham claims 60-percent of more than 180 UNC athletes she worked with read between a fourth and eighth grade reading level. She also described up to ten-percent as functionally illiterate.

School leaders brought in experts to examine the findings. That ended with Provost James Dean reporting those outside experts “finding ‘no evidence’ to support the literacy claims widely reported.”

Read full story: WTVD-TV


  • Harlan DeGroat

    While Mary Willingham might have once championed a noble cause, her path to bringing awareness to the issues surrounding collegiate athletics was entirely wrong and harmful to the debate. Mrs. Willingham violated the rights of student-athletes tramping their privacy. She was purposefully deceptive in her research. Lastly, her lies and sensationalism, carried out in the name of profits for her website and upcoming book, undermined her credibility. Mrs. Willingham and her partner in these endeavors, Jay Smith, should be ashamed and thoroughly embarrassed.

  • Concerned

    I am proud of this lady she did let people know that athletes are not educated they may attend and graduate from college to make money but are dumb as a box of rocks. KUDOS TO MARY STAND UP OTHERS GIVE HER JOB BACK

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