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The Knives Come Out for Carol

A letter to the editor yesterday in the Daily Tar Heel does not pull its punches in describing Chancellor Folt’s disseminating:

TO THE EDITOR:

Carol Folt’s message addressed to the Carolina community is dangerously misleading. The first paragraph belittles the scandal by using past investigations and changes to placate critics. The second paragraph shows the University’s commitment to denial and half-truths.

Mary Willingham’s data is limited to predominantly (85 percent) football and men’s basketball players between 2004 and 2012 who participated in a summer remedial program. Willingham claimed the University broke the rules to keep these revenue sports athletes eligible. Not only did Folt cite data from a different time period, 2012 and 2013, she took data from all athletes, including expenditure sports. Of course Willingham’s data does not match up with the University’s, because they are looking at different athletes from different time periods. Folt is lying with statistics.

The rest of the letter assures us that the University is fixing the problem and Folt asks us for our “patience.” It has been three years, two football coaches, an athletic director and a chancellor since this scandal broke; patience has run out. Folt does not want our patience, — she wants us to forget.

Be skeptical of the data. Understand the difference between profit and expenditure sports. Please remember that a few basketball or football players with low SAT scores does not mean there are not bright students on those teams deserving of support and respect.

Ryan Simmons ‘15
Economics
[Emphasis added]

Meanwhile at ESPN, Gregg Eastrbrook brings out the “R” word for the first time:

The University of North Carolina’s latest move toward the bottom is to lash out at a whistleblower who says many Tar Heels athletes don’t read well enough to be qualified for high school, let alone college. Only after trying to blame the messenger did the school agree to investigate: first step in the “investigation” is ordering researcher Mary Willingham to stop discussing her allegations. Maybe the investigation will show the claims of illiterate athletes aren’t true. If they are true, will Tar Heels chancellor Carol Folt resign? [Emphasis added]

Good for the folks in Carolina. People down there are willing to say out loud the things that were only said in private for years and years in Hanover.

Addendum: The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees is meeting today and tomorrow. I expect that more than a few of its members are wondering about Dartmouth’s former Dean of the Faculty/Provost/Interim President: “Did we make a big mistake?”

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