U charges 17 with academic misconduct

Todd Milbourn

The University charged 17 former men’s basketball players with academic misconduct, and on Wednesday found a former tenured professor culpable of enabling the players’ cheating.
The charges were part of a Faculty Oversight Committee report submitted to Student Judicial Affairs after an eight-month internal investigation into allegations of academic fraud.
The implicated individuals are no longer associated with the University, said Vice President and Provost Bob Bruininks.
Bruininks declined to provide names of those involved.
Most of the former student-athletes are charged with fraudulently submitting course work, Bruininks said.
The professor was found culpable of inflating players grades.
“(The professor) had been giving high grades for work that was clearly below standard,” Bruininks said.
Despite the finding, the report concluded there was not widespread faculty complicity in the cheating.
The charged former students will have the opportunity to contest the allegations before a campus judicial committee.
If found guilty, potential penalties range from lowered course grades to rescission of conferred degrees.
The report was a follow-up to the University probe concluded in November 1999.
Warren Ibele, professor emeritus, headed the committee.
Bruininks said that although the University has restructured athletics oversight and strengthened institutional controls, the possibility of academic dishonesty still exists.
“We’ve all learned a great deal,” he said. “But, no one can be absolutely sure cheating won’t occur again.”

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