An independent investigation into the academic services offered by the Texas athletics department has revealed no NCAA violations by former men’s basketball players, the university announced on Wednesday.
UT President Gregory L. Fenves, who asked for the review shortly after taking office last June, has insisted all along the school did not commit any violations. A report in the Chronicle of Higher Education last summer outlined possible academic misconduct.
The NCAA also issued Texas officials a letter stating “it does not appear there is need for further inquiry.” As far as the NCAA is concerned, this case is closed.
“Most of the findings are positive,” Fenves said in a statement, “but there are opportunities to improve the programs and experiences for the student-athletes.”
Fenves chose a former NCAA investigator, Gene Marsh, to handle the review. Marsh and his team interviewed 83 students, coaches and university employees, UT said in a statement, and reviewed reports, protocols, catalogs and handbooks.
The review found that 60-80 percent of UT’s football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball players were enrolled in majors within the College of Education. More than 70 percent of those athletes are black, the review found.
As such, Fenves asked for a series of recommendations. Men’s Athletic Director Mike Perrin and Women’s Athletic Director Chris Plonsky are to examine the overrepresentation of athletes in the College of Education and “explore ways to encourage a wider selection of majors for select subgroups of student-athletes.”
The report also recommends that Randa Ryan, who oversees all of the athletic department’s academic concerns, possibly report to an academic unit as well as the athletic directors.
“The Marsh Report highlights our many successes but also identifies the areas where we can improve,” Fenves said.
Read more about this story in Thursday’s American-Statesman.
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