Education

Worries about athletes linger for UNC faculty

Posted April 23, 2014

— The committee tasked with monitoring the academic performance of student-athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has made progress, Chairwoman Joy Renner said, but some still have doubts.

"We are looking from recruiting to graduation," Renner said, "making sure they (coaches) are very clear about what someone needs to come here with, what kind of tools they need to come here."

Her claims stand in contrast to the findings of academic adviser Mary Willingham, who drew national attention in January when she told CNN that most of the 183 basketball and football players she reviewed from 2004 to 2012 read at an eighth-grade level or below.

Willingham's report was the latest in a string of damaging allegations that UNC smoothed the academic path for select athletes. University leaders have said there was no systematic process of impermissible aid for athletes and have pointed the finger of blame for less-than-credible courses at the former head of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, who has since retired.

Some at Wednesday's forum, sponsored by the Faculty Athletics Committee, said the university is still in denial over the problem.

Renner prefers to see view the harsh attention as a spur for positive change.

Willingham told Chancellor Carol Folt this week that she will leave the university after finishing her classes this semester.

17 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • 4tarheels Apr 28, 2014

    I understand why they should be any more worried than faculty any where else in the nation. It's obvious that big time college athletics demand different set of academic standards. Everyone else who is competing for national championships is dealing with the same problem, and I don't see a bunch of hand wringing any where else.

  • unc70 Apr 25, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Have you actually read the reports of the three outside experts? You might want to before dismissing their work.

  • unc70 Apr 25, 2014

    Worries about faculty linger with many UNC alumni. It seems that many in the history department need to learn about human research requirements, etc. Several members of that department have made statements unsupported by the evidence. A couple of them have strayed into the separate but equal category.

  • Terry Watts Apr 25, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    LOL... This is the same matter involving players from 2004-2012 for which UNC was penalized. Willingham noted that many of those athletes rated far below the required academic levels at UNC. UNC's action do not constitute an "investigation"; all it seeks to do is discredit Willingham.

    So let's see. UNC is still trying to sweep away any problems with its revenue athletes, for which is was already penalized by the NCAA. When further data was revealed that supported the NCAA conclusions, UNC first reaction was to discredit yet another one of its own Academics. So yeah, UNC supports cheating. And you do too for supporting this action by UNC.

    Let me ask you this: if the NCAA says athletes from 2004-2012 cheated (why else would they have given out the penalty), and Willingham notes that those very same athletes were far below UNC average, why would you consider it to be two separate issues???

  • Felton23 Apr 25, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Wrong, the football suspensions had nothing to do with THIS investigation. Keep trying.

  • Terry Watts Apr 25, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    *crickets*

  • heelsforever Apr 24, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Are we going to stop all of the "special" exemptions? What about those that are in place to promote diversity on our campuses? What about those that are in place to make sure kids from all NC counties get a chance to go to UNC system schools? You know, those that make sure kids from rural NC get a chance and make sure our univervisities are not only for the kids from the Triangle, Charlotte, and the Triad....or wrose yet, only those who already have more advantages than the average kid (a.k.a the wealthy). What about those that give preference to a % of out of state kids? Lots of quotas at work in the UNC system and probably every university system in the country. Are we doing away with all of them or just those that benefit athletes?

  • Terry Watts Apr 24, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    "The NCAA penalized the football program in March 2012 with a season bowl ban and scholarship reductions for funding and travel accommodations. It reviewed gaps in the AFAM after a previous campus probe found 54 empty classes between 2007 and 2011."

  • Felton23 Apr 24, 2014

    View quoted thread


    What player has been convicted of cheating during this "investigation"?

  • Carol Smith Apr 24, 2014
    user avatar

    UNC shot the messenger. James Dean needs to go. He does nothing but cover up the problems.

More...