Off Topic: North Carolina Men's Basketball Literacy Study

Discussion in 'General CAA Discussion' started by EvanJ, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. EvanJ

    EvanJ Active Member

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    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/s...heels-dispute-internal-study-athlete-literacy
    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/s...ls-say-athlete-literacy-study-findings-flawed
    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/s...ating-athlete-literacy-claims-chancellor-says

    If the woman's study about the athletes' reading levels is true or close to true, do you think a team should have to vacate wins (and even the championship they won a few years ago) for using players who were obviously not academically qualified to go to any college? If the woman's study is true, blame has to go beyond UNC to the high schools and middle schools the athletes attended and were wrongly allowed to graduate from. Blame should also go to the athletes and their parents or guardians for not caring about basic education.
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  2. bmf25

    bmf25 Active Member

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    All D-1 schools except for Stanford and the Ivy League programs have this problem.
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  3. bluehenbillk

    bluehenbillk Active Member

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    Major college basketball is nothing but a rest stop for kids to goto the NBA, what did you really expect?
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  4. TheDancinMonarch

    TheDancinMonarch Active Member

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    The holier than thou Tar Heels of North Carolina looking bad? Couldn't happen to a finer bunch!
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  5. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    Except for the "research" has been exposed as bogus and unvalidated. This is from the UNC Faculty Governance meeting.

    To recap:

    1. She pre-selected a small subgroup of UNC student-athletes, then used their results to label the entire UNC student-athlete population.

    2. She used a tool (the SAT for Adults) that experts say is NOT a legitimate tool to measure what she claimed she was measuring (reading grade-level). (There was some question about that before today, but the Provost indicated today that in talking to a number of experts in this field, not one -- NOT ONE -- said it was an appropriate tool for doing that. This is important: This test DOES NOT measure literacy/on what grade level someone is reading, which is what Willingham claimed she was "researching." It'd be like using a microscope to do research on Saturn.)

    3. She didn't even use results FROM THE COMPLETE TEST! She only used the scores from one section -- a one-page section that measures something called "the relationship between different groups of words" -- to come up with her conclusions about reading grade-level. (We only learned that after finally getting to look at the data she had used, which she only turned over this week.)

    4. And, to top it off, she MISINTERPRETED HER OWN FLAWED RESULTS! The test presumably resulted in raw scores. The scores were then standardized. Willingham interpreted a standardized score as a grade level--i.e., a standardized score of 6 equals 6th grade. This is incorrect. The standardized score must be converted into a grade level, and the grade is always higher than the standardized score--i.e., a standardized score of 6 equates to 9th grade. Based on misreading her own flawed data, Willingham claimed that 60% of the revenue athletes in her remedial English class read below an 8th grade level. Here data actually showed that 60% read above a 12th grade level.

    There is no scandel here. Banners aren't coming down because of Mary Willingham. What happens with the African American Studies dept remains to be seen, but Mary Willingham is an attention seeking fraud and she has been exposed.

    I know that many people hate Carolina, it part b/c of the excellence they've represented for half a century, and in part because there are many holier than thou fans. As embarrassing as the football investigation has been, topped by PJ's summer, Carolina has deservedly received a lot of bad press. Mary Willingham seized an opportunity to make a name for herself, without regard for her employer, the kids she was supposed to be helping, and without validated FACTS to support her claims.



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  6. trbefn

    trbefn New Member

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    William & Mary does does not have such a problem along with a few our fellow CAA rivals .
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  7. geezerhawkdad

    geezerhawkdad Member

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    This former tutor may have gone to a lot of trouble to frame a guilty man. UNC has admitted the least prepared student athletes in the ACC for over 30 years. I finished grad school at UNC in '85. The ACC schools released their scholarship football and basketball players' GPAs and SATs as part of the fallout from Chris Washburn's criminal case. UNC was last in the ACC in both sports.

    In '77, Virginia football coach Dick Bestwick, a UNC grad, wrote a letter to The Daily Tar Heel that stated UNC's team had many players Virginia had looked at, but could not recruit, because they could not do college work. UNC laughed at the notion, but some of the players Bestwick alluded to have had off field issues.

    William & Mary has very high standards for athletes. The CAA is step above most conferences.
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  8. PharmaHawk

    PharmaHawk New Member

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    That just struck me as funny with the whole Sherman thing. Not to change the topic or debate him.
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  9. relaxing

    relaxing Active Member

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    The UNC leadership is on the defensive! You don't say!

    The argument seems to center on the semantics of "literate" and "grade level", which is a good deflection tactic. Maybe the university should be worrying about why they bombed the test instead. Though not knowing the meaning of words sure sounds like a measure of literacy to me.

    The fact that the phrase "the relationship between different groups of words" only shows up Google hits for this scandal in the past week, not in any literature about the SAT, suggests to me there's something bogus about this "denial." But if I had to guess, I would think they're talking about "analogies" which are common on standardized tests as a way to measure both vocabulary and critical reasoning skills. So maybe the best case is these players do read, but don't think none too good bout what they read.

    My favorite part is the administrators claiming the students who were admitted with SAT's below 400 are doing fine, while not denying the claims by former players of fake grades and classes that never meet. Tool.
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  10. EvanJ

    EvanJ Active Member

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  11. trbefn

    trbefn New Member

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    HBO did an story about this last week with actual athletes who left little doubt unc had just pushed athletes through the system with classes they never attended.
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  12. billymac

    billymac New Member

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    While I am not backing 100% Ms. Willingham's research, asking a UNC Governance committee to look into this is like having the Military look in to whether Officers did or did not rape subordinates. Which way did you think they would find??

    An independent (non-ACC) panel of investigators would have impressed me more.
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  13. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    Which is exactly why they had independent experts analyze the results and conclude that it was bogus. Willingham was conducting research without authorization, analyzing tests she wasn't trained to analyze or using test to support her analysis in ways the tests were designed. I don't know for sure because she has changed her story on the tests used and she has not provided the university with her IRB application.

    I'm not suggesting that Carolina comes out of this completely clean, but Mary Willingham's research has been exposed as bogus.
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
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  14. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    You are over stating Bogus ! The independent study you speak of incriminated the university more if you ask me, and i've read close to 50 pages of the document.
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  15. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    I'm not suggesting that Carolina was absolved, but her "research" is laughable.

    "Willingham has claimed that 70% of the 183 UNC athletes in her study read below the high school level, including 10% who read below the 4th grade level. Such statistics are grossly inflated...in early April, an independent review of her data determined that the actual percentage of athletes reading below the high school level was approximately 7%, not 70%. [However, even that calculation refers only to the athletes' vocabulary scores, not to their overall reading performance, because the assessments Willingham used were not sufficient to determine overall reading performance. Furthermore, because of the sample's bias and sampling errors noted by the independent reviewers, statistics generated from Willingham's sample are not representative of UNC athletes.]

    Furthermore, Willingham has significantly changed the explanation of her findings whenever they have been challenged. When her findings were first reported by CNN, Willingham claimed they were based only on results from the Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA). However, after UNC’s provost conducted an internal review of the SATA results obtained from Willingham, and concluded her claims were without merit, she contended that she had combined results from the SATA with results from the ACT or SAT to come to her conclusions. Then, in mid-April, after three external, independent experts reviewed the same SATA results and came to the same conclusion as the provost, she claimed she used not only results from the SATA and the ACT/SAT but also from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Yet for neither change in her story did she provide details on the methodology she used to combine the various test results.

    In addition to the natural suspicion prompted by a change of narrative in the face of challenge, Willingham’s shadowy methodology is highly problematic for anyone familiar with educational assessment. First, grade-level equivalents can only be determined by an individual test, not a combination of tests. Second, the ACT and SAT are aptitude tests, not achievement tests, and grade equivalents are not identified for aptitude tests. Third, the WAIS is a psychological assessment, not an achievement test, and does not provide any measure of reading ability. Moreover, the WAIS can only be interpreted by a licensed psychologist, and Willingham is not a licensed psychologist."

    It is a black eye for UNC, but Mary Willingham is a fraud.
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  16. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    I disagree. I think she helped to expose a serious problem, that even the biggest of programs in UNC can't seem to shake!
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  17. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    Mary Willingham's IRB application came out today. Make sure you read it and tell me again how she isn't a fraud. From the IRB in January of '14,

    "We did not suspend approval for Mary Willingham’s research. She has never had Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, so there was no approval to suspend."

    Among other things, there is also an email from Dr. Richard Southall and emails with Willingham indicating that both wanted to use the cease and desist order from the IRB to prevent UNC from obtaining outside analysis of Willingham's data.
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  18. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    You can expose her as a fraud all you want, but the fact of the matter is that many major issues were brought to the front, mainly because she pushed things, perhaps too far, but that's debatable. I'm honestly surprised it hasn't been swept under the rug sooner(like it seems to happen with major programs that have issues), which makes me believe it may be actually bigger than you or I will ever know.
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  19. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    I'm surprised you had time to review the application that fast. Perhaps, you're not interested in the truth either.
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  20. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    I didn't and I don't care. Sure she may have done some things that don't seem to add up, but she still put the microscope on some serious issues going on there. You completely ignored the rest of the points in my post.
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  21. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    She LIED on her application, used shady methodology, changed her story multiple times, shared identifiable information on her twitter account, refused to have her "research" peer reviewed to the extent that she tried to block UNC from analyzing the data....what was her motive? It seems pretty obvious she knew the data was bogus, yes bogus.

    Her findings are meaningless without sound methodology supporting them and the fact that she lied on the application only raises further concern about her motive.

    What exactly did Mary Willingham expose? I'm not ignoring your "other points." You've been vague and simply stated that she "put the microscope on some serious issues" but you haven't provided any specific concerns for me to respond.
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
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  22. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    UNC fans like to ignore that was an entire department "African American studies" who's sole purpose in the university was to pass athletes. Did you forget that piece got exposed?
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  23. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    You're doing exactly what the Willingham camp is trying to do now. Associate themselves with the NCAA investigation from 2010 and deflect criticism of their unethical behavior. I'm not ignoring that piece of Carolina's history, but I'm not talking about it here because they're not associated.
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  24. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    It's all connected!! It's a pattern of unethical behavior at an institution of higher learning, which might i add is publicly funded. I never painted Willingham to be a saint, or what she came out with to be perfect, but to just toss it all away because one or two things were discredited is nonsense.
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  25. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    For obvious reasons, you HAVE to toss out everything Mary Willingham said. She has proven herself to be untrustworthy and unethical. Carolina was put on probation in 2010 because of issues revealed during the NCAA investigation. The original poster pondered whether or not the ADDITIONAL information reported by Mary Willingham would have ramifications for the athletic department. Because Willingham lied, the answer is no. It is not as if "one or two things" she said were discredited, it is that her research lacked integrity. We're in the CRO world; if we had made those "mistakes" in a clinical trial, we would be fired and face legal prosecution.

    Mary Willingham exposed no unethical behavior except her own.
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  26. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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    Apples to oranges..... I didn't know you were in the Biz too....... 08 is as well
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  27. bricksnivy

    bricksnivy Member

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    As far as risks, sure. But scientific integrity is still required and she lacked it.

    I hear your point for sure. I'm not trying to cover up anything for Carolina. I'm told that they have made the appropriate changes to their admissions process. But, it really frustrates me that she threw out the knowingly false 70% illiterate figure. That is really where my frustration comes from.
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  28. geezerhawkdad

    geezerhawkdad Member

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    When the other UNC-CH folks looked at Willingham's data and their other admissions criteria, they concluded that no more than 2.5-3% of their varsity athletes were reading below a high school level when admitted. That's an amazing statement for a university with about 400 scholarship athletes and many more walk ons. Some athletes who can read at a high school level have no business being in a university, too.

    UNC-CH and State were tied for last in the ACC in the recent APR rankings in basketball and football. In 1985, as part of the fallout of the Chris Washburn criminal case, the ACC schools released the high school GPAs for their football and men's basketball players, UNC-CH was last in the ACC in those stats, too.

    I have 2 graduate/professional degrees from UNC-CH and it was hard as heck to get an A or an H. It does not make me happy to hear undergrads were getting B+s in classes that never met or that kids could submit plagiarized term papers that no one bothered to read, including the Honor Court. Those UNC-CH degrees are worth less than the frames the diplomas hang in.
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
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  29. seahawkhoopsforever

    seahawkhoopsforever Active Member

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  30. EvanJ

    EvanJ Active Member

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