Mary Willingham

Recent Articles

NCAA madness continues long after March


March Madness 2014, basketball edition, is over, but the real madness in college sports is still disgracefully alive. Dr. Richard Lapchick’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport annual NCAA tournament graduation rate study, released last month, shows that White basketball players graduate almost 25 percent more often than Black players at many Division I schools. Last weekend’s four finalists all posted “disparity gap” graduation rates among their Black players. “When you look at the schools participating in the Final Four, and you look at the graduation rates of Black males…it’s a travesty,” noted Black Star Project Executive Director Phillip Jackson in a recent MSR interview. Then there’s the rarely-discussed North Carolina academic scandal. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Tutor exposes fake classes at major university




Mary Willingham has received death threats from social media users. She’s looked at by some with disdain. All because she decided to step forward and help bring to light what was going on at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Willingham, then a school’s academic tutor for UNC players, finally let it be known that she was the “unnamed source” for a local reporter’s investigative reporting on the school having set up fake classes, changed grades and awarded worthless degrees for football and basketball players — too many of them were Black — for at least a couple of decades. “I want to do right by them because I was part of the problem,” says Willingham during an MSR phone interview on the “hundreds” of UNC players she worked with during her seven years as a tutor. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Whistleblower persecuted for exposing UNC academic scandal

While people’s busted tournament brackets dominate this year’s March Madness hoops chat rooms, once again little or nothing has been said about that proverbial 2,000-pound elephant in the room — the continued hypocrisy of college sports. The University of North Carolina was among the 68 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams in this year’s respective NCAA tournament fields. This despite a huge academic scandal that has hovered over Chapel Hill for at least two years now involving the school offering “bogus classes” since the 1990s for mostly basketball and football players. Ohio University Professor David Ridpath told that the U of M academic scandal in the late 1990s, when class papers were ghostwritten for several basketball players, then considered the worst scandal in sports history, “pales in comparison” to the UNC situation. Remember Minnesota’s 1997 Final Four run and their Big Ten title that year as well?  The Gophers’ NIT crown won in 1998? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,