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North Carolina asks court to move Mary Willingham lawsuit to federal court

Jul 31, 2014, 10:13 PM EST

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In early July former academic advisor Mary Willingham filed a lawsuit against the University of North Carolina, alleging that her concerns regarding the education of student-athletes were not addressed and that she’d been demoted and reassigned after bringing up those issues. With this and the Rashad McCants situation to address, the school also has to deal with the NCAA deciding to reopen its investigation into allegations of academic fraud.

With regards to the Willingham suit North Carolina has gone with the strategy of requesting that the case be moved to federal court according to WNCN News. The school would like to see Willingham’s suit moved from district court in Wake County to a US District Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

“The University moved Ms. Willingham’s lawsuit to federal court on Wednesday because the case raises issues of federal law,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor for communications and public affairs at UNC. “She originally filed her claims in Wake County. We continue to believe the facts will demonstrate that Ms. Willingham was treated fairly and appropriately while she was employed at Carolina.”

Willingham, who is seeking damages from the school, also stated that the research she’d done that revealed that some 60 percent of student-athletes at UNC read at no better than an eighth grade level, was incorrectly explained at a faculty meeting by UNC Provost James Dean. Dean also stated that Willingham’s research was “a travesty” according to WNCN.