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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Texas to look into academic misconduct allegations


The University of Texas is launching an independent review of academic services offered by its athletic department in the wake of allegations of academic misconduct.

Texas president Greg Fenves told the Austin American-Statesman on Monday that he has authorized Gene Marsh, a former member and chairman of the NCAA’s Division I infractions committee, to review the alleged instances of academic misconduct by former Longhorns basketball players.

In a report published by The Chronicle of Higher Education last week, three former Texas basketball players — P.J. Tucker, J’Covan Brown and Martez Walker — were all accused of various infractions dating back to 2006.

In one instance, a former academic counselor alleges that a math instructor told him she saw Walker cheating on an exam but did not penalize the player for it. The same counselor said she has reason to believe Tucker received impermissible help while writing a paper as he was preparing for the NBA Draft. Another former counselor admitted he helped write papers for Brown.

Texas has said that it has “no information to suggest” that former coach Rick Barnes, who was fired in March, had any knowledge of academic misconduct during his 17-year tenure with the team.

“We take every allegation seriously, and we are looking into that,” Fenves said Monday. “We felt Gene Marsh will get to the bottom of it, but at this point, I have no concerns there were improprieties. It’s prudent and responsible to look at them in depth.”

Whereas the alleged infractions occurred almost 10 years ago, it is unlikely there is much that can be done about them now.

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