Chapel Hill: Opinion

Should UNC apologize? What readers are saying

Last week we asked you in the paper and on editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook page whether UNC officials should apologize to academic fraud whistleblower Mary Willingham. Here is what some fo you said:

Ann Hamrick: Vehemently apologize. And request the same from Chancellor Folt and Provost Dean when they are “free” to do so regardless of who wins the lawsuit.

Steven Wade: Yes, UNC should definitely publicly apologize to Ms. Willingham. This, as you should know, is not the first time UNC has been caught-up in sports/academic scandals. This goes back to the 19-teens and 20s when sports was mushrooming at this campus and many felt sports was getting out of control and that UNC was putting forth football players unqualified to play in games and has been going on ever since.

Terri Buckner: Absolutely not. She violated students’ privacy and made unsubstantiated claims about the illiteracy of student athletes using an instrument not developed for that purpose. Provost Dean had outside specialists review her claims and those claims were refuted based on the evidence she presented. I honor the role of whistleblower, but she went too far with her claims by denigrating an entire class of students (athletes) with weak/non-existent evidence.

Jimmy Grant: Both Carol Folt and Jim Dean should apologize to Mary! They both made this ugly situation at UNC worse by trying to discredit Mary and her message that was supported by her data. After reading Jim’s comments in which he try to destroy Mary, I suggest he take some business courses and learn some leadership skills, then update his resume and start looking for a job at a smaller university. UNC’s recovery from this scandal will be more painful when the residing provost has destroyed his own credibility and displayed inferior leadership abilities. I’ll hold my breathe waiting for the apology.

Carol Candler: Should UNC apologize to Mary Willingham? Without doubt. When she raised red flags, why didn’t those administration officials ask questions, want to know more about the concerns she raised or express concern themselves? Instead they berated her when they could have saved themselves and the university humiliation and large amounts of money. The athletic improprieties should have been investigated when Mary first brought the subject up. Why is there even a question “Should UNC apologize?”

Jim Alexander: OMG yes. Quite frankly, I don’t see why there should be any question about it. A wrong was done, at least an apology is in order.

Kate Dobbs Ariail: Yes, and then they should apologize for taking so long to apologize.

Suzanne Haff: As a secondary literacy specialist myself, I have always believed Mary because I have seen the same thing. She was very very brave. As one can clearly see, it would have been much easier for her to go along with the corruption for another 20 years. I believe she should be offered an apology and a contract for life should she want it. I also believe the players should also have the apology of their coaches. And their parents.

Rene Delavarre: Yes, for sure. To think, this scandal occurred as a result of the rich boosters dying to have a winning team, seemingly, at all costs. Let’s remember, it’s just an amateur sport, where it’s how you play the game, not whether you win or lose. This is not the pros, or is it?

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