Mary Willingham: A Response to the ‘Group’

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First and foremost, I will let the legal system (not Bradley Bethel or Andrew Perrin) sort out the case of my IRB, FERPA, and HIPAA. In a meeting on April 21, 2014, Chancellor Folt told me that it was up to a judge. I am prepared to answer all questions under oath and my attorneys will subpoena all records necessary.

In the April 21st meeting, Chancellor Folt also mentioned to me that athletes make certain choices to play their sport at Carolina. As US citizens, we should ALL be free to make choices. This is not the case for our profit sport athletes who are told in a contract that they will receive an education in exchange for their talent. The education provided is quite often based only on the need to keep players eligible.

On the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, we are still asking, is separate ever equal? No. College athletes must be treated as they are; adults with rights and reason of their own (Taylor Branch, The Shame of College Sport). Truth and integrity will only be restored to college sport when our talented athletes are afforded a real education and the ability to earn compensation for the use of their names, images, and likeness–rights that all of our other students already enjoy (Willingham, US court declaration signed under oath – January 10, 2014).

We need to do the right thing for these students and be on the right side of history. The game called the NCAA is almost over. It’s run afoul and the whistle has been blown.

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