For the most part I have never taken the homer attitude when writing a post about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This is going to be one of those rare exceptions to the rule. Many have been calling the academic standards at UNC very bad, many local newspapers have taken the war path attacking UNC basketball and football in anyway they can when it comes to academics. Adding to the mix was a former UNC learning specialist named Mary Willingham, who proclaimed that quite a high percent of athletes could not read fourth grade material.
“I don’t believe until we tell the truth that we can move forward,” Willingham said in a HuffPost Live segment.
It seems to me, after reading this article, that Mrs. Willingham will have to take her own advice, as an independent council has said her findings were not correct.
“The data do not support public claims about the students’ reading ability,” the press release issued Friday said.
This is where all the haters and ABC’ers will now forget how to read themselves… where they will still keep saying this and that about the going on, avoiding to see that new facts have come to life. But I will not be mad at rival fans, it’s their job (or so they believe) to bash other programs. However, this leniency will not be given to the likes of ESPN’s Outside The Line, HBO’s Real Sports and the News&Observer’s Dan Kane if they do not come out with an apology. I am not expecting a tenth of the coverage on this as they had on attacking UNC using the counselor’s work, cause that, frankly, does not get ratings, but an apology is in order. I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen, but sometimes just knowing they should have is good enough.
I can still remember when this whole scandal began. The press conference that entailed, the media and television coverage from all over. The sad fact that several lost their jobs due to it, and several more did as well due to change overs. When the whistle blower spoke up, once again the pot was stirred, and of course once again a frenzy to get this woman media coverage was underway. Not to mention the book she is writing. Now that her story has been overturned, maybe a couple of articles here and there. But sometimes there is one thing more valuable than ink on paper, and that is the knowledge that you were right.
In the end, rivals will jump at anything to bash one another, it’s the way it is nowadays. But the so-called professionals, the one that should keep a high standard of integrity when doing their job in reporting the news… those people should be reprimanded for smearing the name of a school using data that was false. Unfortunately history tells us they won’t. ESPN jumped the gun with the story about Syracuse’s assistant head coach Bernie Fine, they did it about this, and trust me, if there is another story with sketchy info, but worth the ratings, they will do that one as well.