Mary Willingham says her potential acts of plagiarism were inadvertent in her master’s thesis, according to the News and Observer.
The former UNC academic adviser told the N&O in a phone interview, “whatever I did, I did, and, you know, whatever. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
Willingham’s master’s thesis, with which she earned the degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, was posted on the blog site InsideCarolina over the weekend. Excerpts show multiple instances where she wrote passages that are very similar, if not word-for-word, to a passage of another text without citation.
This comes after the former UNC employee has been leading a charge against the University and the NCAA demanding reform for student-athletes.
Willingham is known as the whistle blower who told CNN in January that UNC admitted athletes who were not academically eligible, and that, in turn, the University is unjustly using athletes for financial gains. She says now that the NCAA has decided to return to campus, she doesn’t want it to hand out further punishment, but instead to use the opportunity to “reform the entire system.”