Updated: 12:50 p.m.
University of Texas officials have begun an internal investigation and contacted the NCAA about academic issues raised by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which alleged that former men’s basketball player Martez Walker cheated on a test.
In a statement, university officials said they have no information that former men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes “knew of or was involved in any academic improprieties.”
The University of Tennessee, where Barnes is currently the head basketball coach, has not responded to the Statesman’s request for comment.
According to the Chronicle report, Walker was allegedly snapping photos of test questions and looking for help outside the classroom, according to two former academic advisers who were aware of the incident.
Pamela Powell, who taught several athletes in the fall of 2013, first consulted with Adam Creasy, who worked for the athletic department. Creasy spoke with Brian Davis, who was then the head of academic support for football.
“I know nothing and cannot confirm or deny any information about (student privacy),” Powell told the American-Statesman on Wednesday. Creasy and Davis have left the athletic department since this alleged incident took place.
According to the Chronicle, Davis advised Creasy to speak with Randa Ryan, who oversees all academic concerns for UT athletics. What happened next is unclear, the report states. Walker passed the class and then landed on the Big 12 honor roll for maintaining a 3.0 GPA.
“The university takes any suggestion of wrongdoing extremely seriously,” the university said in a release. “We are always looking to identify problems that may exist and ways we can do better.
“President Gregory L. Fenves is actively working with his leadership teams in both Student Affairs and Athletics to pursue the highest levels of integrity for all of UT students,” the statement continued.
The following is the complete news release from the University of Texas.
Statement from UT Austin on Chronicle of Higher Education Story
Academic integrity is at the core of The University of Texas. Our student athletes’ academic progress rates are among the best in the nation. And we continually seek to foster an ethical culture that reduces the risk of wrongdoing, manages our internal controls, and responds to inappropriate conduct.
The university takes any suggestion of wrongdoing extremely seriously. We are always looking to identify problems that may exist and ways we can do better.
Working with external NCAA bylaw and academic compliance experts Gene Marsh and Geoff Silver, UT is investigating allegations raised by The Chronicle of Higher Education and has contacted the NCAA about them.
We determined that the university had no knowledge of two former students athletes allegedly receiving improper help with high school coursework before they enrolled. We are now reviewing three other cases that occurred over a nine-year period since 2006 to determine if any university or NCAA rules were violated and if any action is needed.
The university has no information that suggests Coach Rick Barnes knew of or was involved in any academic improprieties.
President Gregory L. Fenves is actively working with his leadership teams in both Student Affairs and Athletics to pursue the highest levels of integrity for all of UT students.
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