Skip to content

Whistleblower in UNC academic fraud case files lawsuit against school

Jul 2, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

Image (1) university-of-north-carolina-logo-thumb-220x177-1144.jpg for post 315

Mary Willingham, a former academic advisor at North Carolina and the whistleblower in the academic fraud investigation at the university, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, according to numerous reports on Tuesday morning.

(Those with a legal mind can go ahead and read through the entire lawsuit here.)

Willingham was employed by the university from 2003-2014, spending much of her time working as a learning specialist. She made it a mission to get the school and the athletic department to take accountability for their failings in regards to the academic scandal that has plagued the school for the past three years. Using her own research, Willingham claimed in a CNN special report that 8-10% of the athletes on scholarship at the school between 2005 and 2012 were reading below a third grade level and that roughly 60% were reading between a fourth and eighth grade level.

Willingham claims in the lawsuit that a recent demotion was retaliation by the school, saying that she was “essentially punished for having reported the truth”, which is illegal in North Carolina. Willingham also says that she was “constructively terminated” because of the demotion and a hostile work environment that was created by the school.

Damages total $10,000 and Willingham is also asking for her job back with protection against termination as a result of these legal proceedings and the reopened NCAA investigation into the academic fraud at the school.

On Monday, the NCAA and North Carolina announced that due to subjects that are more willing to provide information to their investigators, they will once again be digging into the academic fraud allegations involving the men’s basketball and football teams.

Latest Posts
  1. Former Oklahoma State guard suing university, head coach Travis Ford

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:24 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Stevie Clark, a four-star recruit, played only 16 games for the Cowboys.

  2. Ex-Syracuse signee Moustapha Diagne awaiting a student visa in Senegal

    Sep 4, 2015, 8:19 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline Kelly Kline

    Moustapha Diagne decided he would attend junior college back in August.

  3. Seventh Woods down to three schools, sets official visits

    Sep 4, 2015, 6:39 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline Kelly Kline

    Seventh Woods removed one more team from consideration.

  4. Wyoming guard Trey Washington III ‘day-to-day’ with knee injury

    Sep 4, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT

    Wyoming v UNLV Getty Images

    Washington sat out all of last season due to a lingering foot injury.

  5. Reigning national champions to visit White House Tuesday

    Sep 4, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

    Mike Krzyzewski AP

    Mike Krzyzewski will be taking a national title team to the Oval Office for the fifth time in his career.

  6. Former Indiana forward’s marijuana possession citation dropped

    Sep 4, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

    Landon Atterberry Devin Davis AP

    Devin Davis has since enrolled at Odessa JC in Texas.

  7. Former New Mexico guard signs with Australian Football League franchise

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

    Hugh Greenwood AP

    Greenwood is the second former college basketball player to sign with an AFL franchise in the last week.

  8. Gonzaga once again puts together a formidable non-conference schedule

    Sep 3, 2015, 9:05 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The Bulldogs are guaranteed games against five NCAA tournament teams and could play more based upon what happens in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

  9. Virginia announces addition of four-star forward, will redshirt

    Sep 3, 2015, 7:56 PM EDT

    mamadi diakite

    Virginia is trying to figure out the academic situation of Mamadi Diakite, who might enroll in 2015.

  10. Ongoing investigation results in Minnesota athletics administrator taking leave of absence

    Sep 3, 2015, 6:51 PM EDT

    University of Minnesota University of Minnesota

    This comes less than a month after AD Norwood Teague stepped down for his own alleged sexual misconduct.

  11. Shin issue to sideline Mississippi State freshman forward two months

    Sep 3, 2015, 5:22 PM EDT

    Ben Howland AP

    Joe Struggs, who didn’t enroll until last month, has been dealing with issues with both of his shins.

  12. Throwback Thursday: Juan Dixon and company win Maryland’s lone national title

    Sep 3, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    Juan Dixon #3 of the University of Maryland holds the ball Getty Images

    This year’s Terrapins will look to match what Dixon, Steve Blake and company accomplished just over 13 years ago.

  13. Mixtape of Rivals150 Class of 2016 guard Jalen Johnson (VIDEO)

    Sep 3, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    jalen johnson

    Jalen Johnson is one of the best in-game dunkers in the Class of 2016.

  14. Atlantic 10 releases full conference schedule

    Sep 3, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    Bob McKillop AP

    The Atlantic 10 released its full conference schedule. The league has 33 games on NBCSN this season.

  15. Michigan State sees remodeled practice facility after returning from Italy (VIDEO)

    Sep 3, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Tom Izzo, Alvin Ellis III AP

    Michigan State saw the newly-renovated practice facility when they arrived back from a trip to Italy.

  16. Four-star power forward/center verbally commits to North Carolina

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Roy Williams AP

    With two seniors in their current front court, adding a big man helps North Carolina moving forward.

  17. St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin throws out first pitch at Mets game (VIDEO)

    Sep 2, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Mullin threw out the first pitch at a Yankees game back in late-May.