From an editorial published Tuesday in the (Raleigh) News & Observer:
For doing the right thing in speaking up on an academic-athletics scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mary Willingham was vilified by boosters and became the object of scorn from some administrators.
She had been on the inside of the academic advising system for athletes, as a learning specialist, but she ultimately blew the whistle on a system she said guided athletes to classes that never met and where they wrote papers that got high grades regardless of their quality.
The university came down hard on her and even hired three experts to discredit her research.
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But now, nearly four years after Willingham spoke out, her criticisms have proved credible, and UNC has agreed to settle a suit she brought claiming the university created a hostile environment for her. She will get $335,000, though she will not return to her job.
Willingham deserved more, including her job back and some profuse apologies. She did the courageous thing in daring to take on an athletics machine driven by millions of dollars in revenue.