CHAPEL HILL: UNC: Former athletes can return to finish degrees - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

UNC: Former athletes can return to finish degrees

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UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. (File photo) UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. (File photo)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Chancellor Carol announced a new program Thursday that will allow former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill athletes to return and finish their uncompleted degrees.

Folt announced the "Complete Carolina" program Thursday morning at a Board of Trustees meeting at the Carolina Inn. The program gives former athletes the opportunity to complete their degrees after they leave the university.

During Thursday's meeting, Folt told the board that special investigator Ken Wainstein is happy with the access he's been given while looking into the academic scandal.

"When we invite students to come to UNC-Chapel Hill to participate in our athletics program, we are promising them, above all, the opportunity to receive a superior education. That promise should have no expiration date," Folt said.

"I see Complete Carolina as being fundamental to our mission and our commitment to provide the very best education to all Carolina students. I look forward to expanding this program -- particularly by enhancing academic advising and career counseling for all our students -- in the future."

UNC said that former athletes in good academic standing will get financial support "commensurate to their scholarship, including tuition, fees, room, board and books."

Returning students also will receive academic advising and career counseling help.

Scholarship costs will be funded by the UNC athletics department. Carolina will start accepting applications Sept. 1.

Former UNC academic adviser Mary Willingham declined to comment on the new program.

Earlier this year, Willingham told CNN that her research of 183 football or basketball players at UNC from 2004-12 found 60 percent reading at fourth- to eighth-grade levels and roughly 10 percent below a third-grade level.

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Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass. 

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