The University of Missouri Athletic Department is under investigation by the NCAA for alleged academic fraud after a former tutor revealed “widespread” cheating abetted by academic tutors. The school did not name any specific programs that were under scrutiny, but they announced that they were investigating the allegations, along with the NCAA:
“The University of Missouri has received allegations of potential academic rules violations by a former tutor in the Athletics Academic Services area. Consistent with our commitment to rules compliance and to operating our athletics program with integrity, we are conducting a review of the allegations. We also have informed the NCAA who is working with us on this matter. To protect the integrity of the review process, we will not comment further at this time.”
The Kansas City Star found a private Facebook message by former tutor Yolanda Kumar (who confirmed its authenticity), wherein she talked about helping athletes cheat and said that she had resigned and reported the fraud to the school. She did not get specific about any of the athletes she worked with, but she did say that coordinators from two revenue-generating sports supported the alleged fraud:
“I have knowingly participated in academic dishonesty in my position as a tutor at the University of Missouri-Columbia Intercollegiate Athletic department, which is not limited to assistance with assignments. I have taken and assisted with entrance assessment, completed entire courses, and I been present to provide assistance with online assessments. It was encouraged, promoted, and supported by at least two Academic Coordinators for athletes in revenue generating sports, however, the wide spread desperation to succeed by other student-athletes at the bottom of an inverted pyramid of the organization’s construct cross (sic) multiple sports. I self-reported on November 2 and naively wanted to close the door on the manner after seeking counsel. I immediately resigned from my position on November 7 prior to meeting with a member for compliance, general counsel, and an individual that reports to the chancellor.
“You are able to see this post because I respect and honor your thoughts of me. I wanted you to hear it from me first. I apologize for disappointing you.
“I just can’t carry this burden anymore.”
These allegations come right on the heels of the NCAA imposing sanctions on the men’s basketball team for a series of violations, including giving illegal benefits to players. The Tigers were banned from the postseason last year and they vacated 23 victories.
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