Basketball, BloombergBusinessweek, College Sport Research Institute, Football, Intercollegiate Athletics, NCAA Inc., Paul M. Barrett, Phony Courses, Politics and Policy, Recruiting Atheletes, Richard Southall, Sports Law, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, Whistleblower, William Friday
Sitting in Memorial Hall at the heart of the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina, Mary Willingham wondered what William Friday would want her to do. . . .
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In his last decades he’d [William Friday] tried to stir discussion about whether commercialized intercollegiate athletics was distorting higher education. That’s why Willingham had approached Friday in his 92nd and final year. In private conversations, she’d told him about her mounting anxiety that rather than educating its recruited athletes, UNC was playing a shell game to keep them from needing to study at all. She’d told him about basketball and football stars who read at a grade school level. She confessed that she’d helped steer some of these young men—many of them black—into lecture classes that never met. Worst of all, given Carolina’s racial history, the phony courses were offered in the black studies department. . . .