My Farewell to UNC-CH

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Today is my last day at Carolina, but my work is far from over. It became clear some time ago that the corrupt system of college sport would not be fixed at the ground level. The only way to dismantle a cartel is to go after their illegal money making machine. The NCAA is a multi-billion dollar industry with a non-profit status. Their labor is not only cheap, but free. They pay no benefits, no worker’s compensation and no salary to their laborers.

I kept thinking that one of our chancellors or university presidents would stand up to the system, a young bright chemist or a successful ‘first’ woman, but that was just a pipe dream. I’ve had lots of pipe dreams; I thought that my boss and his boss, both deans in the College of Arts and Sciences, would want to tell the truth. I expected that the Governor would uncover the facts and that a business school dean turned provost would examine the evidence, not hide behind the research. For many years, I thought that my university would do the right thing, but we continue to hide from the truth. The truth is in the transcripts. Many of you have asked if Kenneth Wainstein will uncover the truth, but I believe that he is just a high priced mitigator. Perhaps I will be wrong, but there is nothing ‘independent’ about someone being paid by the very institution that he is investigating. The people of this great state deserve so much better from their flagship. Most importantly, the athletes who were promised a real education, and instead received a BS in eligibility, should be invited back to have full access to all 78 majors and a degree that actually represents the Carolina Way.

I would like to say thank you to all the people who have supported me during the last 18 months and during the last 11 years while I worked at Carolina. It was sad to leave the campus today, because I am and will always be a Tar Heel. The faculty, staff and students that I have had the privilege to work with and serve here have changed my life forever. The thousands of emails I received in support from educators, students, athletes, parents and even one university president have been invaluable. These messages have kept me going and give me the energy to continue to carry the torch for lux and libertas.

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Mary Willingham

Founder of Paper Class Inc. Supporting Athletes' Rights to a Real Education. Previously - Learning Specialist at UNC-Chapel Hill. "My intentions are to help the amazing students who I served at Carolina from 2003-2010. We must offer equal access to a real education for ALL of our students."

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