“Always do right,” Sam Clemens once said. “This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
If UNC Chancellor Carol Folt wants to go down in university history as a strong, effective and wise leader, she will now do the right thing. That would be to thank Mary Willingham for bringing to long-needed public light the hypocrisy of big-money sports at Carolina. And asking this courageous educator to remain on staff. And truly fixing the problems that have existed for decades, as opposed to applying Band-Aids and paying lip service to repair.
Folt also ought to promise that our beloved state university will not make such egregious, dishonest errors again. Not doing so will only prolong this destructive, Energizer Bunny scandal.
Millions of people are watching what’s unfolding in Chapel Hill. A solid percentage of those care little or nothing about who wins ultimately meaningless sporting events, but they do care about integrity. Carolina has been a regional leader in the past. By doing the right thing here, it can become a national leader in correcting a longstanding, nationwide issue, just as it has been in health research, humanities, social sciences and public service.