Last week HBO broadcast the latest expose about the academic scandal at the University of North Carolina. The campus in Chapel Hill and the Tar Heel fans all over North Carolina are fuming. A lot of their ire is directed at the media for keeping this story alive when the faithful at UNC believe this is a story with no legs.
But, the majority of the anger has been saved for Mary Willingham, the whistle-blower whose interview and story on CNN brought this latest bit of bad news and the media attention down on UNC. She claimed, in the original story, that her research showed that 60% of the 183 athletes in football and men's basketball that she tested had reading levels below eighth grade. Of those 8-10% had reading levels below third grade.
UNC has hired several studies, and other independent studies were conducted, to refute her findings. Although several claimed her methodology was flawed, or that she did not submit the paper for peer review, no one has actually shown that she was wrong. Granted, few here in North Carolina (except some at NC State) agree with her. One study hinted that maybe10-12% of those athletes are functionally illiterate, but not 60%.
So, my question for FTRS readers, is this, "How well would someone with a fifth or sixth grade reading level do at Georgia Tech?" That's assuming the coaches and admissions office got them in school.
Could someone that ill-prepared for college survive one semester at Tech? If so, how many illiterate athletes do you think we have? Assuming we have, counting walk-ons, about 100 athletes on the football team and about 15 on men's basketball, 10-12% would be 12-15 illiterate athletes taking classes with you guys. Is that possible at Tech? If not, how is it possible at UNC? UNC-Chapel Hill is a fine university. It is the flagship of my state's education system. Are we that different at Georgia Tech?