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North Carolina student-athletes don’t read or right good

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A new article from CNN isn’t helping the University of North Carolina’s image when it comes to student-athletes and their education. A former learning specialist at the university, Mary Willingham, told CNN she dealt with several student-athletes who couldn’t read or write.

A study conducted by Willingham found that, out of 183 UNC student-athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012, 60 percent read between fourth- and eighth-grade reading levels. Even worse, between eight and ten percent read below a third-grade level.

“So what are the classes they are going to take to get a degree here?” she asked. “You cannot come here with a third-, fourth- or fifth-grade education and get a degree here.”

Willingham admitted to helping the program cheat and signing off on letters claiming she witnessed no NCAA violations, when she really did. She told CNN the NCAA never interviewed her before determining no rules were broken in Chapel Hill.

Read more at CNN.com. I would tell you to forward this to your North Carolina friends, but they probably wouldn’t be able to read it.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

65 Comments for North Carolina student-athletes don’t read or right good



  1. schwing
    10:41 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    at some point, ESPN and the NCAA will have to start paying attention, right? … right?



  2. WhoNeedsEdumication
    10:41 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    wow! that is all.



  3. Musehobo
    10:42 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    I mean good grief. The NCAA look like the biggest fools.



  4. UK
    10:47 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    The NCAA does not want to vacate championships, which UNC had in 2005 and 2009. Vacating a championship and leaving a blank would make the NCAA look even more foolish. That’s why they looked into Derrick Rose and why they let the Lance Thomas at Duke thing slide.



  5. yeah
    10:48 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    To not be able to read as an adult indicates either a serious learning disability (or retardation) or a family/social environment that is truly broken. A kid with any kind of structure in his life should be able to read.

    Now what “reading at an eight grade level” means I don’t know.

    This is actually really sad and I won’t be making any jokes on this one.



    • left winger
      11:32 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      It’s the family/social environment, but it’s not their fault. It’s a direct result of the child’s inability to concentrate due to the fear of the entire world succumbing to global warming. And it’s going to get even worse, but it won’t be realized for another 15 to 20 years as the damage inflicted upon society due to the 2014 “polar vortex” begins to show its ugly effects on society. I’ve never seen a tea bagger in a Prius. They just don’t care and furthermore, they are just too stupid to understand how global warming actually causes record cold temperatures. Let’s join in with Cal and get the homeless off the streets before they breed and procreate more UNC athletes.



    • AnthonyBBN
      12:02 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      ^^ Congrats sir, you are, in fact, an idiot.



    • Left winger
      12:11 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Congrats to you sir. You’ve correctly identified the lunacy of left wing thinking. I’ll bet it was the last sentence that tipped you off. I probably had you going until then though.



    • TheBigToe
      12:30 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      And Left Winger is the exact reason we can’t have nice things.



    • Left winger
      12:45 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Well said Big Toe, and he’s also the reason that in the near future, you won’t have anything.



    • yeah
      3:48 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I didn’t mean this to turn into a political “discussion.” The majority of people are smart enough to learn to read and write – CIA says 99% of Americans over 15 can. Obviously certain people/groups have something to gain by inflated illiteracy rates. You can make a test however hard/easy you need to and massage numbers any way you need to in order to get the results you want.

      That being said, what is truly daming is the classes that didn’t meet and grades given for no work. That looks to be pretty clearly what was happening to the point where charges are being filed. So I’d look past this part of the story to what is more concrete.



  6. Matt
    10:48 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Really??? Please tell me the headline is a joke….read or RIGHT good????



    • Rei
      10:51 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Too stupid to catch it?



    • DH
      11:02 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Sounds like the joke from Zoolander and Drew was able to add to it by putting it in writing



    • L1C5
      11:08 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Calm down, of course it was a joke. Not only did he misspell write but he used bad grammar w ‘read or right good’…obviously on purpose. Sheesh.



  7. GraBeardCat
    10:50 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Sigh. The NCAA becomes more and more a laughing stock. As has been discussed many times, whether or not the NCAA punishes a school depends on the school, not the rule. There are the “We are watching you all the time” schools, and there are the “Teflon schools”.



  8. bgcat
    10:51 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Write, not right … Still waiting for Bobby Knight to make a comment on UNC, if this had been UK, he’d be all over ESPN spewing hatred for UK. As for the NCAA, you won’t hear a thing from them. Hypocrisy at its best.



    • UK
      10:55 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      You didn’t catch the pun did you?



  9. Pun intended? Or headline fail?
    10:52 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Drew, you’re the best man. But there’s a possibility that you might get blasted on this one for your headline title. Was it “pun intended?” Or a headline fail? An edit may be due here.



    • UK
      10:56 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I am pretty sure it was pun intended. BTW the gratuitous use of the word “fail” stopped being funny 18 months ago.



    • Brandon B
      11:04 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      The man writes for a living and I’m pretty sure he knows the difference between Right and Write… I’m a bit worried that some of you might be ideal UNC students if you can’t catch the joke. smh



  10. saywut?
    10:55 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    I live in Chapel Hill. This has had NO effect on the moral superiority of the UNC fans. I got a Master’s (BA at UK) here and in my case the academic standards were rigorous.



  11. Eric Bledsoe
    10:59 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    I past Algibra 3 b4 takesig Algibra 2. I’s good in da klass.



    • UKAlum
      11:01 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      The failure to read at an age appropriate level trumps that in spades.



    • Chane
      11:11 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I gotz kiked of da teem fo not been able to reed or rite. They gave me til aftur da UK game to does beter but Is cant.



    • Beavis
      11:37 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Thats funny,,,,but perhaps you should go back and watch a Kevin Ware interview. The man can’t put two words together and make any sense. Compared to Ware,,,Bledsoe looks like Albert Einstein.



  12. Big Curt
    11:00 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Double secreat probation anyone?? lol



  13. Big Curt
    11:01 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    secret…lol



  14. Eric Bledsoe
    11:02 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    I can also reed the liddle engine that cood book now.



    • Chane
      11:12 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      man how u lern dat? i ben tryin fo yearz and cant



  15. DH
    11:05 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    I would think that everybody would realize that Drew’s use of the word “good” instead of “well” is proof that he intentionally used “right” instead of “write”. Maybe I’m giving people too much credit..



  16. brad
    11:06 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    but they use a picture of Rupp on the front of the website under that headline.



  17. Jeffrey
    11:14 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Is that a pun? I hope it’s a pun.



  18. Big Pun
    11:17 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not a playa I just crush a lot



  19. L1C5
    11:20 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    When I click on the link I don’t see a picture of Rupp under the headline, like some others have. Weird. I just see a video under the headline, nothing about UK.



  20. Drew Franklin
    11:20 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    It’s a pun and no one has mentioned the sign. I worked hard on that.



    • TorpedoVegas
      11:42 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Well done sir.



    • trey
      12:30 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I noticed the sign, but I’m confused where the joke is. It hurts trying to figure it out and I’m sure its obvious.



    • trey
      12:36 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Dammit! Missing letters! Good one.



  21. Mark Emmert
    11:25 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Hey! I told you all there was nothing to see here! If y’all don’t move along, I’ll find something to nail Calipari with!



    • Beavis
      11:38 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Perhaps more true than you think now that Jim Calhoun has retired.



  22. Zoolander
    11:31 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    What is this a school for ants?!



  23. Chicago Chris
    11:33 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Hey, I noticed your photoshop of the sign, Drew. Sort of thought the sign and the headline were obvious. Not sure why the discussion.



    • JVice
      11:41 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I’m not sure why the discussion either. It’s a little disheartening.



  24. Town Hopper
    11:34 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    UNC still beat that UK ass though didn’t they?



    • PhilUK18
      11:38 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Beat that ass? No, not really. It was decided with about 2 minutes to go, I would hardly call that domination. Plus, the whole point of this article seems to have gone over your head. Your attitude of “win at all costs, screw the future of these athletes once they’ve won us games” is pathetic, and symptomatic of a larger problem in NCAA sports.



    • Beavis
      11:40 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      The problem starts a long time before these people get to college.



  25. Chicago Chris
    11:34 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Unfortunately, I suspect this issue probably exists in most big programs, including UK. Hopefully, to a much lesser degree.



  26. Do whut?
    11:42 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    My goodness I hope UK teaches a course in remedial joke catching. Obtuse ain’t just for angles anymore.



  27. Jeff
    11:43 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Why is the picture of Rupp Arena?



  28. Todd
    11:46 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    People are going to get mad at me but here it goes….I know a few people who have graduated recently with a degree in CLD (Community Leadership & Development). They always talked about how insanely easy it was. They found high school way more demanding. I was always interested to hear about how many football/basketball players they had class with. If you dig deep you will see that a majority of our athletes are in that major program. I’m not saying our situation is necessarily as bad as UNC or any other place. I just don’t think this is a battle we should partake in.



    • Do whut?
      11:59 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Mad over second-hand information from an anonymous poster who among other things must be good friends with Bill Belichik? Hardly.



  29. Todd
    11:49 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    And to add on to that…Myron Pryor was in the CLD program at UK. He was forced to take reading classes after joining the New England Patriots.



    • Drew Franklin
      12:12 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I had to take a makeup test with Myron Pryor one semester in our sociology professor’s tiny office. Myron ripped the loudest fart I’ve ever heard in my entire life. It felt like it lasted an entire minute. He didn’t flinch or acknowledge it, either. Just blasted me with it.



    • Do whut?
      12:23 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      First rule of comedy: fart always equals funny.



  30. tyrus
    11:51 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Thanks Drew, got my first laugh of the day. As an economic researcher and stat gatherer for state publications in the days before computers, proof reading took up a lot of my time during work.



  31. ATB
    12:15 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    It doesn’t only go on at UNC its everywhere. For 3 years I was an athletic Tutor for our own University of Kentucky Wildcats. I worked with several of our most beloved Cats who I would say couldn’t read better than a 5th grade level. With this said, those kids always cared and I worked with them to make them improve. Would they ever make a college dean’s list, no but they did their own work and it was much harder than playing basketball. It is a function of the system, it’s like one of the players told me one night during a tutoring session, he was always just let pass by because he could shoot a basketball. It was true and he shot a basketball well enough to be one of our best shooters of all time and make a good living in the NBA and by the time he left Kentucky he could read at a 12 grade level and he was 3rd to 5th grade at best when we started. Point is its all about perspective. Not the kids fault it’s the teachers, coaches, and parents fault!!!



  32. TheBigToe
    12:33 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Solid work Drew. And I got some looks from my coworkers (that can see me in my cube) about the Myron Pryor comment.



  33. Chapel Hill
    1:28 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    at Chapil Hil



  34. Turner the Burner
    1:46 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Careful though. CNN is still looking into UK. I played baseball there in the mid 2000’s and I’m not saying basketball and football players were on the same level as UNC but it may be closer than people want to admit.



  35. Illiterate
    2:00 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Thank goodness Cal only recruits scholars like Bledsoe, Cousins, Harrison twins, etc.



    • Beavis
      4:13 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      Yep,,,thats true. Just think how bad we would look if we got Ware and Blowhanan . What are they teaching Ware,,,,it sure is not public speaking.



  36. UNC killer
    4:07 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    Every time I’m on here I read bashings of every other school except for your own. But hey, can’t expect much else from UK fans. 0-1 vs UNC on the year, you got beat by athletes who can’t read. You suck.



    • Beavis
      4:19 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

      What is more likely is that you are a UNC fan taking a African American Studies class . Its the only one you can pass.



  37. Rob
    7:26 pm January 8, 2014 Permalink

    All this UNC bashing from Kentucky. Now that’s funny. CNN approached UK about their reading leveling and they refused to comment stating that they didn’t keep reading stats such as the SAT on their student athletes. Wonder why? Could be that they are as dumb as a box of rocks or have shit for brains.