CHAPEL HILL: Human rights group: UNC should 'flip script,' help - WNCN: News, Weather

Human rights group: UNC should 'flip script,' help athletes

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

A group that focuses on ending what it calls the exploitation of student athletes is speaking out on the academic scandal that has rocked the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Student-Athlete's Human Rights Project was created in response to the scandal at UNC and is based in the Triangle.

"UNC is in a position as a well-respected and national education leader to flip the script in college athletics," said Emmett Gill, national coordinator for the Student Athlete's Human Rights Project.

Gill also works as a professor at North Carolina Central University.

Gill said he spoke with UNC Provost James Dean about working with the University after research from reading specialist Mary Willingham found some Carolina athletes read at below an eighth-grade level.

"He has expressed that right now he's not going to release Ms. Willingham's data to us, which we've requested," Gill said. "Nonetheless, he said that maybe the project can be of assistance in other ways."

Dean is heading a group aimed at examining the entire student athlete experience at UNC, starting with recruitment.

Gill said the emphasis should getting professors more involved in the education of their student athletes, not recruitment.

"Shift the focus and be honest - 'We're going to admit these student athletes. Now, what are we going to do when they get here?'" Gill said.

Dean has told Bloomberg Businessweek that he is looking into how the African and African-American studies department was formed and its evolution. This department is where problems were discovered with student athletes taking "no-show" classes.

The former chair of that department, Julius Nyang'oro, was indicted in December on a felony charge of obtaining property by false pretenses after being paid for classes he never taught.

Gill said he plans on meeting with Dean this week.

"I think accountability is important and sincerity is important," Gill said.

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Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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