Yudof divulges new witness for academic fraud investigation

Kristin Gustafson

Another witness came forward late last week in the men’s basketball academic fraud investigation, University President Mark Yudof said Friday.
Yudof would not disclose the identity of the witness but said it was not former academic counselor Alonzo Newby, who was fired last spring after refusing to speak with investigators.
The new information from this “important witness” will have to be integrated into an investigative report that already contains 50,000 documents, Yudof said. The report has already taken Yudof six to seven hours to read. He said he expected to receive the final version Saturday.
Yudof has an idea about what actions he will take in response to the investigation, but he declined to say what they were. He also said his decision is not final.
“I find this very difficult,” Yudof said. “Oftentimes, it is very clear where good judgment and ethics and values lead you. I find this more ambiguous.”
Yudof said it would not surprise him if a few other witnesses still come forward. The University’s general counsel’s office will still consider the information.
“Responsible people should come forward with their evidence now,” he said.
A former tutor sparked the investigation last spring when she said she wrote more than 400 academic papers for as many as 20 men’s basketball players between 1993 to 1998.
In addition to the investigation — expected to cost about $1.5 million — the University spent another $1.5 million to buy out the contract of former men’s basketball coach, Clem Haskins.
Another part of an investigation into sexual-misconduct allegations involving University men’s athletics was completed in July. Investigators concluded that athletics officials did not systematically intervene in misconduct cases.
The Board of Regents will hold another closed-door meeting sometime this week. Last week, regents reviewed parts of the investigative report for the first time.
Although Yudof said he will make the final decisions about how the University will address the report’s findings, he said he will consult with the board, faculty and staff members and the general counsel.
Others from outside of the University, including former Gov. Arne Carlson, have weighed in on the issue, Yudof said without further comment.
“I think it is up to me to integrate the actions against Haskins, the sanctions, and the interim measures on the allegations regarding sexual harassment,” Yudof said.
Though he would not comment on the specifics of his decisions, Yudof said, “You need to restore the confidence, so it needs to be thorough. And you need to go to the NCAA, and you want to them to have confidence in your investigation, that you weren’t hiding anything.”
Yudof said he expects to release the final report and make his announcements Friday.

Kristin Gustafson covers University administration and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3211.