Gangelhoff appears on Oprah

Travis Reed

University students scanning the channels late Wednesday afternoon might have caught sight of a familiar face in an unusual place.
Jan Gangelhoff, the former University tutor involved in the University’s recent academic-misconduct scandal, appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” with a handful of other self-proclaimed former cheaters to discuss the consequences of cheating.
While serving as a tutor for the men’s basketball team, Gangelhoff wrote more than 400 papers to keep several players academically eligible. As a result of her testimony, the University began an investigation that led to the resignation of men’s basketball coach Clem Haskins and Men’s Athletics Director Mark Dienhart.
In her brief appearance on the show, Gangelhoff said her relationships with the students started out productively, but deteriorated because the students weren’t prepared for college-level studies.
“When you come from a culture in high school that does everything for you if you’re a star athlete, it’s real normal for a student to come to a university and think the work will be done for them as well there,” she said.
A representative for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” would not discuss who contacted whom to schedule the appearance, but said Gangelhoff was not paid for her involvement.
Gangelhoff said she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong for writing the papers for several years, and blamed “a culture in athletics that allows behavior like mine and others to be considered the norm” for many of the alarming cheating statistics presented throughout the program.
But not everyone at the University was content to gloss over Gangelhoff’s involvement in the scandal.
“I’m still confused about how the media has allowed her to be considered the victim in all of this,” said McKinley Boston, University vice president of student development who was also implicated in the scandal.
Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, appeared on the show as a cheating expert. He said people cheat because they’ve become disassociated from what they’re doing.
“People on the bottom don’t feel like they’re part of the team,” Kula said.
Kula likened cheating on taxes to cheating on citizenship and said no one would cheat if they really felt like a part of the system.
If testimony from the other Winfrey guests is any indication, the worst might be behind those involved in the University scandal.
Dion Lee, a former Northwestern basketball player whose involvement in a point-shaving scandal cost him a month in jail and a shot at a career in the National Basketball Association, said he’s moving on despite his tainted past.
“The worst thing was the disappointment I brought my mom,” Lee said..