Known by many as the whistleblower of the largest academic scandal in NCAA history, Mary Willingham is an author, educator, activist and human resources professional. In 2015, she co-authored the book, “Cheated: The UNC Scandal, The Education of Athletes, And The Future of Big-Time College Sports,” which unveiled a corrupt academic system for student-athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, home of the legendary Tar Heels. Her research includes studies on the NCAA and university admission procedures with regard to profit sport athletes, and their specific gaps in basic skill deficits. She is a co-owner of Paper Class Inc., a company dedicated to raising awareness about the need for NCAA reform and PCRead, a non-profit literacy organization. In 2014, she was in Taylor Branch’s Documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sport”, and has also appeared on HBO Real Sports and ESPN Outside the Lines. In 2015, Willingham was invited to brief congress over the failures of the NCAA to regulate college sport and the need for a commission – H.R. 2731. Last year, 2016, she appeared in Bob DeMar’s Documentary, “The Business of Amateurs”.
Willingham currently works for KIPP Delta public schools as Regional Director of Literacy.
“It is my hope to effect change in educational policies and programs that will create a win-win result. The students will graduate with a quality education, and the school will produce quality programs and services that value the student athlete as a whole.”