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Bloomberg Businessweek: “UNC Presses Attack on Whistleblower”


Apparently UNC likes whistleblowers about as much as the Bluth Company.

With the coaching carousel lethargically inactive, and most NBA draft announcements as predictable as summer in Arizona, there’s been a dearth of drama in the still-green offseason that makes the ending of college basketball seem so much more sudden, and painful, for die-hard hoops fans.

So, sincerely, thank you, University of North Carolina, for your ridiculous academic scandal which continues to give us something to be incensed over, even after the refs’ whistles have sounded the last bad call of the season, and rivals talked their last ounce of trash until October.  The scandal, or specifically, its backlash, has taken yet another interesting turn that Bloomberg Businessweek touts as “targeting.”

According to author Paul Barrett, the Tar Heel administration is putting a bullseye squarely on the back (or forehead) of whistleblower Mary Willingham:

Rather than grapple directly with how university employees and instructors launched on this egregious adventure of keeping scholarship athletes academically eligible by means of fraud, UNC’s leadership has gone after Willingham personally. Employing a classic kill-the-messenger playbook, top officials have questioned her credibility and demoted her.

Is this as bad as it seems, or is Bloomberg overreacting?  Remember, just because a reporter says it, doesn’t make it true.  Some have a dull, rusted axe to grind, even when its better off buried (::cough:: PETE THAMEL).  But apparently, UNC’s “retaliation” has included publishing the findings of three independent reviewers, who agreed with a dean’s opinion that Willingham’s findings were “a travesty.”  There is still all manner of retaliatory “he said, she said” accusations flying between the two entrenched parties, and with the independent reviews and the images of A- papers, both sides have plenty of ammunition.

The bottom line is this: at least one reputable source believes that UNC is, at best, ignorantly neglecting serious problems, or at worst, nefariously targeting the faculty member most concerned with the school’s academic reputation.  The author also wonders, as many college basketball fans have, “How long can the NCAA avert its eyes?”  If Eric Bledsoe’s grades are reason enough to investigate, it’s hard to imagine how this isn’t.

It’ll take a while before we see how right, or misplaced, Bloomberg’s beliefs are, but until then, it’s the best drama we’re going to get in an offseason bereft of brand new tweaks and Rex Chapman tweets.  So enjoy it, and remember: only 187 days until Big Blue Madness.

Article written by Corey Nichols

13 Comments for Bloomberg Businessweek: “UNC Presses Attack on Whistleblower”

  1. KevinM
    7:05 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    So the desk in the janitor’s closest isn’t enough punishment to this lady?

    They are going to try to bully her publically.

    Wanna bet it doesn’t work? I’m going to guess she’s got more ammunition she hasn’t shot yet.

  2. wow
    7:11 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Anyone else siked about football? I can see us going 6-6/ 7-5 most definitely.

    • Ann Noid
      8:15 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Isn’t the term actually “psyched”?

  3. Undertaker's Dong
    7:23 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    This is the best-written article I’ve ever read on KSR! Also, “why are we spending so much money on whistles?”

    • My name is Judge
      9:20 am April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Whistles? I thought that was just the topography of the boardroom desk.

    • Barry
      9:21 am April 15, 2014 Permalink

      No, those are balls. Yeah, from this distance they always look like landscape.

  4. Rei
    7:30 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    This happens everywhere and this woman would’ve gotten shut up regardless of what school it was. The NCAA needs to go ahead and falter. Hopefully those kids at Northwestern will unionize.

    • Hint
      9:05 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      “This happens everywhere and this woman would’ve gotten shut up regardless of what school it was.”

      Making broad, sweeping generalizations like that with absolutely ZERO proof this happens ANYWHERE else is very unbecoming. It makes you sound like our red-headed step-brothers down the road. See, they’ve got it all figured out, and everyone else is just blind to it… 😉

  5. goose
    7:31 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Had this been on UK’s campus, all hell would break loose….. and we would be on probation faster than Pat Forde could sniff Pitinos farts.

    • Catgrad7072
      7:36 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

      Negative Goose; faster than Forde would get a broken nose from Pitino cutting a fart. : )

  6. willy
    8:29 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    Nothing surprising about either reaction, UNC`s or the NCAA`s, the beat goes on!!

  7. just sayin
    8:46 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink


  8. just sayin
    8:48 pm April 14, 2014 Permalink

    This is Bloomberg we’re talking about.