Story originally posted January 30, 2014 at 11:26 a.m.

CHAPEL HILL – Friday morning, UNC clinical instructor and academic advisor Mary Willingham will tell the latest in her story of pushing for a change in academics among student-athletes at the University.

Jay Smith (Photo by Dan Sears)

Jay Smith (Photo by Dan Sears)

***Willingham told WCHL that history professor Jay Smith will join in the conversation Friday morning.

Smith is reportedly writing a book about the academic problems that have plagued the university in recent years.

Willingham was quoted in a CNN article January 8 as saying there is an alarming number of illiterate student-athletes at UNC. The University released data a week later that disputes the claims in the CNN article.

Willingham said she received death threats for speaking out about the issue, which she says she’s passionate about fixing.

Immediately following the UNC data release, the group which is responsible for approving research projects conducted at the University, the Internal Review Board (IRB), suspended Willingham’s research and said she must submit her work to be reviewed. Upon that announcement, she said she would do so, but on Wednesday, a Daily Tar Heel article said she may not.

The person in charge of overseeing the IRB, director of the Office of Human Research Ethics, Daniel Nelson, says the suspension is not uncommon. He told the DTH that it happens 10 to 20 times a year.

The University has commissioned a panel of outside experts to review Willingham’s raw data set and methodology.

Tune in to the WCHL Morning News with Ron Stutts Friday at 7:00 when Mary Willingham will be live in the studio. You can listen on 97.9 FM and streaming live online at