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UNC tolerated cheating, teacher says

Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A reading specialist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill says the school has tolerated academic cheating by its athletes.

Mary Willingham, 51, of the school's Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling, said UNC's athletic department accepted what she described as cheating and plagiarism on the part of student athletes, and after administrators did not take her concerns seriously, channeled her frustration into a master's thesis on the corrupting influence of money on college athletics, and then to the media.

Among her assertions are no-show classes, identified as lectures although classes never met and referred to as "paper classes;" admission to the school of numerous football and basketball players incapable of doing college-level work; "independent study" curricula with a lack of academic integrity; and a lowering of admissions standards to recruit athletes, the (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer reported Monday.

The charges come after the athletic-academic culture at the school has been investigated, resulting in the football team's placement on NCAA probation for improper benefits given to athletes by agents and improper academic help from a tutor, the newspaper said.

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