The University of Texas at Austin has hired an independent investigator following allegations of academic fraud within the men’s basketball program. The allegations were brought to light in an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education last Wednesday.
The school announced Monday that it had hired former NCAA infractions committee member Gene Marsh to head the investigation—a decision made by the university’s new president, Greg Fenves.
The article highlights instances of academic fraud involving three former Texas players—Martez Walker, P.J. Tucker and J’Covan Brown—including one in which a professor saw Walker cheating on an exam but still allowed him to pass the class. Tucker was said to have received help on a paper while preparing for the NBA Draft, and a former academic mentor said that he helped Brown write papers on multiple occasions.
The allegations were made public just 13 days after the Longhorns canned head coach Rick Barnes, who is now head coach for the Tennessee Volunteers. On a conference call Tuesday, Fenvus told reporters that Barnes’ dismissal—which came after 17 years at the helm in Austin— was not a result of the allegations.
The Volunteers hired Barnes following the dismissal of Donnie Tyndall, who was fired after the university learned of his involvement into a series of academic violations that occurred during his tenure at Southern Mississippi.