CHAPEL HILL: Willingham weighing 'options' on response to UNC - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Willingham weighing 'options' on response to UNC

Posted: Updated:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

The University of North Carolina reading specialist who captured national headlines and caught heat from UNC leaders for her research, is not ruling out the possibility of a lawsuit.

Mary Willingham told CNN last month her research of 183 football or basketball players at UNC from 2004-12 found 60 percent reading at fourth- to eighth-grade levels and roughly 10 percent below a third-grade level.

UNC announced last month it had notified Willingham she can't continue to use data with information that could identify the subjects until she applies to the university's review board that governs human research.

UNC's provost James Dean told faculty in a January public meeting that research questioning academic abilities of UNC athletes was "a travesty."

Dean attempted to discredit her data in that meeting.

This week, the Daily Tar Heel quoted Willingham as saying she would consider suing Dean as a result of his statements.

In an email to WNCN Tuesday, Willingham said, "I am carefully weighing all my options."

Her email went on to say, "The problem is that all of these distractions take away from the real issue that we need to focus on - educational inequality promoted by the college sport system. I am hopeful that change is coming. This conversation needs to be taking place at all NCAA DI institutions. Our profit sport athletes must be given the rights and representation that they deserve, and that has yet to happen. Northwestern might just lead the way, good for them."

UNC spokeswoman Karen Moon said "the University declines to comment about speculation on possible litigation."

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Meriwether County man murdered during apparent robbery

    Meriwether County man murdered during apparent robbery

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:41 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:41:56 GMT
    Two individuals believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder were caught on surveillance camera in Newnan.Two individuals believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder were caught on surveillance camera in Newnan.
    Local and state investigators release surveillance images of suspects believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder investigation.
    Local and state investigators release surveillance images of suspects believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder investigation.
  • 16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-04-02 19:29:36 GMT
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
  • Clemson student suddenly dies from infection

    Clemson student suddenly dies from infection

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:38 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:38:27 GMT
    Virginia GilliamVirginia Gilliam
    A Mount Pleasant family is grieving the loss of their 18-year-old daughter and sister after she dies suddenly while away at school in the up state. Clemson freshman Virginia Gilliam died on August 24 after what started out as a urinary tract infection."Anybody that knew Virginia, knew she saw the world through a child's eyes. Again, I knew that, my family knew that and I'm not a big social media guy but since then I've just been seeing all this out pouring," Herb Gilliam. Social Media he says...
    A Mount Pleasant family is grieving the loss of their 18-year-old daughter and sister after she dies suddenly while away at school in the up state. Clemson freshman Virginia Gilliam died on August 24 after what started out as a urinary tract infection."Anybody that knew Virginia, knew she saw the world through a child's eyes. Again, I knew that, my family knew that and I'm not a big social media guy but since then I've just been seeing all this out pouring," Herb Gilliam. Social Media he says...
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.