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It Takes Eleven

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Nearly 2 dozen FSU athletes accused of cheating

The Associated Press
Published on: 09/26/07

Tallahassee, Fla. — Two athletic department academic assistance employees have resigned and 23 Florida State University athletes were implicated in cheating on tests given over the Internet, school officials said Wednesday.

The athletes represent nine sports and 17 of the students are or have been on scholarship. Officials could not identify the students and could not say which sports are involved because of federal confidentiality restrictions.

University President T.K. Wetherell reported the findings in a letter to the NCAA. He indicated inquires are continuing although an internal investigation failed to find conclusive evidence of a more widespread pattern of cheating.

The students could face punishment from the university and NCAA including loss of eligibility. The NCAA also could sanction the university, but spokesman Erik Christianson said it would be speculative and declined comment.

"I think the school took appropriate action," said Jim Smith, chairman of the university's board of trustees and a former Florida attorney general. "It's unfortunate something like this could happen."

Wetherell ordered an investigation by the university's Office of Audit Services in May after receiving information an athletics department learning specialist had directed one athlete to take an online quiz for another and then provided the answers.

The student who took the test was not enrolled in the class and reported what happened to his athletics academic advisor.

Neither he nor the other athlete, who had been unaware someone else took the test for him, were disciplined, the report said.

The investigation then found the learning specialist also typed papers for five students who apparently didn't qualify for that service and a tutorovided answers or other unethical assistance to 23 students for online tests. The testing involved a single course, which was not identified.

"Some students from the 2007 semester indicated that it was common knowledge among the student athletes that the tutor would help with the exams in the class," the report said.

The learning specialist and tutor resigned. They are not named in the report.

The tutor confirmed in an interview with the school's auditors that he had been assisting students with answers for the online exams since the fall of 2006, according to the report.

"Student testimony as well as the students' grades indicated the amount of assistance the tutor provided escalated from fall 2006 through his resignation during the summer semester 2007," the report stated.

The auditors also found the learning specialist had failed to direct athletes with disabilities to Florida State's Student Disability Resource Center where they could have received legitimate assistance.

The NCAA is also awaiting more details.

"We are aware of the situation and we will work with the institution when more information is submitted to our office," Christianson said.
Well, it is spread accross 9 different sports according to the article. I am sure some are on the football team but probably only a handful. It will be another month before FSU submits it's findings to the NCAA so there probably won't be any action until they do.

Maybe not? Just a guess.
I'm sure this happens at a lot of schools, but they just haven't been caught.

Online courses seem to be the easy classes to cheat and get away with, obviously.
It Takes Eleven said:
Neither he nor the other athlete, who had been unaware someone else took the test for him, were disciplined, the report said.

OK. I completely missed this particular point the first time around. Are they honestly trying to say the student athlete was UNAWARE that someone else took his test for him? Really? How'd that conversation go? "Uhhhh, Dude, I logged on to take my test today but it said I had already submitted it! I must have done it in my sleep! Man I R Smart!"

Are they really going to go with that? If so that means, either the tutor hacked into the computer system and overwrote the athletes test with his OR the teacher had knowledge of what was going on.

Which one is it? In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. Not Bama? No Foul.
Last night I heard (on ESPN, I think) that only 2 of the athletes involved were football players, and one of those was a guy who hasn't been cleared as academically eligible, anyway. I'd say it's safe to say that if the other one involved is a starter, he won't be suspended until after the game this weekend.
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