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University of Oklahoma will be featured in HBO special on academics and athletics

by Jason Kersey Published: March 21, 2014

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma will be featured during a 9 p.m. Tuesday edition of “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” that examines academic advising centers within some major collegiate athletic departments.

The segment, entitled “Gaming the System” and reported by Bernard Goldberg, will also examine the University of North Carolina and the University of Memphis.

According to a news release, a six-month investigation revealed that academic advising centers “operate as ‘schools within schools’ and are responsible for enabling student-athletes with elementary educations to graduate from big-time universities.”

An OU spokesman said the athletic department is aware of the HBO special but declined to comment.

In a 45-second trailer released this week, UNC’s Mary Willingham and OU professor Gerald Gurney are shown discussing the subject, several B-roll shots taken at OU are prominently featured.

Willingham and Gurney spoke with CNN in January for a package in which Gurney alleged 10 percent of revenue-sport athletes at OU read below a fourth-grade level.

Gurney is an assistant professor of adult and higher education, and formerly served OU’s senior associate athletics director from 1993-2011.

North Carolina leaders have adamantly denied Willingham’s claims.

You can watch the HBO trailer below.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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