More basketball allegations spring up over break

Allegations continued to rumble and shake the Gophers men’s basketball program when the campus quieted and emptied for finals and spring break.
Two more tutors came forward to claim they wrote papers for team members. Then former basketball player Russ Archambault said men’s basketball coach Clem Haskins gave him cash up to 10 separate times.
All the claims point to a culture within the basketball program that built a fire wall around the team to protect the players and seemed to encourage cheating through hand-picked academic counselors.
“You did not get past that wall unless you were let past by Coach Haskins,” Jan Gangelhoff said at a press conference March 23.
Gangelhoff began the furor in an article in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press claiming she, in whole or in part, wrote more than 400 papers for current and former players.
Her sister, Jeanne Payer, came forward with her own tale of misdeeds and academic fraud, telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune she produced papers for players as well.
Then the Pioneer Press quoted sociology doctorate candidate Alexandra Goulding, who claimed she wrote a one-page paper for Courtney James. She said she told the team’s academic counselor, Alonzo Newby, she would not do it again. Newby then allegedly told her she would not be extended a contract to do more work for the team.
Goulding said Haskins knew about the incident.
At the press conference, Gangelhoff reiterated her stance that Haskins knew about the cheating and even encouraged it.
“He would say things like, ‘Student X got a D in such and such a class, now he’ll have to get a B in this class or he might not be eligible,'” Gangelhoff said. Then she said Haskins told her, “‘Just remember Jan, you can’t be too good. The papers can’t be too good.'”
Archambault sat next to Gangelhoff and nervously described how Haskins gave him $200 in December 1996. Haskins held Archambault back from a trip to Nebraska so he could work on his grades.
He said Haskins brought him into a bathroom stall in Williams Arena and gave him the money.
“It came out of his wallet,” Archambault said. “He said, ‘Don’t tell no one.'”
In another incident, Archambault said he got into a fight at BW-3 in Dinkytown and broke a window. He said Haskins gave him two cash payments of $200 to pay for the repairs. The bar owner said the incident never happened.
Haskins released a statement through his attorney Ron Zamansky on March 22 denying all the charges made against him. Zamansky said the statement still stood after the press conference.
For the press conference, Gangelhoff displayed about 100 papers she said she prepared in part or in full, many of them from the University’s General College. Names on the papers included John Thomas, Voshon Lenard, Antoine Broxsie, Jason Stanford, Jayson Walton, Courtney James, Micah Watkins, Townsend Orr, Darrell Whaley, Jermaine Stanford and Hosea Crittenden.
Meanwhile, the University appointed two law firms to investigate the allegations. They began their work March 22.
Tonya Brown, the University’s chief of staff whom University President Mark Yudof put in charge of coordinating the investigation, distributed an e-mail to faculty March 19 urging anyone with information about the charges to contact the law firms investigating the matter.
She wrote that Yudof and the Board of Regents will take appropriate action once the investigation is complete, which may include self-reporting any violations to the NCAA. This may cause some organizational changes, Brown wrote.
University officials may have known about allegations of academic fraud a few months ago.
Rick Marsden, an athletic counselor, filed a discrimination suit against the University in November 1998. In an affidavit filed earlier this year in Hennepin County District Court, Marsden said he knew of fraud in the basketball program.
“During the course of my employment, I was told by a basketball coach that I must write papers for an academically fragile member of the men’s basketball team,” Marsden testified. “I refused to do this and I reported it to the administration that I had been asked, and that I refused and would continue to refuse to perform such a task.”
Neither Marsden nor his attorney, Judy Schermer, could be reached for comment.