Willingham first said she had made the decision to leave on April 21 after an hour-long meeting with Chancellor Carol Folt. She said the conversation made her realize there was no more she could do at UNC and that she wanted to continue her fight to correct problems with intercollegiate athletics elsewhere.
In an email, Willingham told WCHL that she’s currently in Washington, D.C. and will return next week. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Wednesday that Willingham, as well as former UCLA basketball standout Ed O’Bannon, will testify to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The hearing takes place Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. and is titled “Promoting the Well-Being and Academic Success of College Athletes“.
Willingham is also a key witness in the O’Bannon lawsuit in which he and a number of other plaintiffs are suing the NCAA for not allowing the players to profit from their image or likeness. That trial is scheduled to begin on June 9, but two weeks ago the NCAA asked U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken to either separate the video game portion of the lawsuit with the rest of it or delay the case by 15 months.
USA Today reports that the lawyers of former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller said they supported the NCAAs request for separation and that they are looking for close to $100 million in statutory penalties, loss of profits and punitive damages.