When a former University of North Carolina educator found out that UNC athletes were being allowed to play ball, despite their poor reading scores, she refused to sit idly by and allow the school to put performance on the field before academics.
Mary Willingham “blew the whistle” on UNC when she found out that learning disability tests taken by 180 Tar Heels athletes revealed that the majority couldn’t read at even a high school level. According to reports published in the Raleigh News & Observer, Willingham also alleged that athletes at UNC were allowed to take what she called “paper classes.” These classes never even met in person; the students were directed to hand in papers. Further, she said, these students got passing grades on the papers regardless of quality. These practices, Willingham reported, were happening at UNC between 1993 and 2011.
She resigned her position at UNC in mid-2014 shortly after she blew the whistle on the school. She was rewarded this week for her courage in blowing the whistle on these outrageous practices at UNC. Willingham contended in federal court that the school punished her for outing these practices. She received $335,000 to settle her claim; she will collect about $180,000 after legal fees.
If you have information about a person or entity that is trying to defraud the US government, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for “blowing the whistle.” Contact the experienced qui tam lawyers at Begelman & Orlow, P. C. today for sound legal advice on your False Claims Act case.