LSU finishes internal football probe

Aug. 16, 2002 at 3:10 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The long-awaited internal investigation of alleged academic fraud involving football players at Louisiana State University is now over.

The 87-page report is now in the hands of the NCAA. It was supposed to be ready in April, but the deadline was pushed back several times.

"It took as long as it did because of our insistence on a thorough investigation and for it to be as exhaustive and complete as it needed to be," LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert told the Baton Rouge Advocate. "And then as we entered the summer, people were spread all over and it was difficult to talk to everyone we needed to."

According to the paper, LSU's internal probe began in January after Roger Grooters, the newly-hired executive director of LSU's Academic Center for Athletes, reported irregularities in the center to football coach Nick Saban and other superiors.

Bahnsen's office then began investigating along with LSU attorney Mike Pharis. In March and April, kinesiology instructors Caroline Owen and Tiffany Mayne each sued the school, saying they were treated harshly by kinesiology department and academic center superiors after they reported alleged plagiarism on papers and tests of athletes.

Mayne also claimed in her lawsuit that she gave failing grades to 10 football players in a fall 2000 kinesiology introductory course.

The Advocate also said among the other academic fraud charges investigated by LSU were academic center tutors writing, rewriting and typing papers for athletes, reading books and finding test answers for athletes, and athletes taking unsupervised tests at the academic center.

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