(AP) -- Research data from a University of North Carolina reading specialist doesn't support claims of low athlete literacy levels at the school, according to reports released Friday from three outside experts.
The university hired Georgia State, Minnesota and Virginia professors to review Mary Willingham's findings. Willingham told CNN in January that her research of 183 football or basketball players from 2004-12 found 60 percent reading at fourth- to eighth-grade levels and roughly 10 percent below a third-grade level.
One expert estimated about 7 percent of athletes from Willingham's research read at fourth- to eighth-grade levels in his report. The school says the data included scores for 176 athletes, including baseball and volleyball players, and was based on testing to screen for learning disabilities or other problems.