Former UNC learning specialist Mary Willingham will not be testifying this week before Congress after all.
Willingham was scheduled to appear before a Senate committee on Wednesday in a hearing entitled “Promoting the Wellbeing and Academic Success of College Athletes.” But the N&O reported that on Friday, Willingham was told she wouldn’t be on the final roster of witnesses. (It’s not unusual for scheduled witnesses to be left off the final roster.)
Last week, Willingham confirmed that she had resigned from UNC after a semester of controversy that began in January, when she told CNN that her study of nearly 200 UNC student-athletes revealed that many of them couldn’t read beyond an eighth-grade level. Independent experts hired by UNC to review her study sharply criticized her methodology, but the discussion is still ongoing.
The congressional hearing will take place before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Among the other scheduled witnesses is former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon, who’s currently suing the NCAA for not allowing student-athletes to share in the profit from the use of their names and images.