WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Memphis finds no proof of former player cheating

By CHRIS TALBOTT
Associated Press Writer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis was unable to find proof a former
player cheated on his SAT exam in its internal investigation of
NCAA allegations against the men's basketball team.
The investigation report, released to The Associated Press and
other news outlets Tuesday under a public records request, details
Memphis' internal investigation into allegations that a former
player allowed a stand-in to take his SAT test and of grade
tampering.
School officials argue that even if the NCAA's Committee on
Infractions believes a former player cheated, the program should
not be penalized because the school was unaware of any wrongdoing.
Most names in the report were redacted by the school because of
privacy concerns, but an attorney for former Memphis star Derrick
Rose has acknowledged that Rose cooperated with an investigation of
similar allegations while still a student.
The report says the school had no reason to suspect the SAT was
fraudulent until notified by Educational Testing Service that the
player's score had been canceled. That letter came May 5, 2008,
after Rose's only season at Memphis.
"The university ... took all reasonable steps to confirm that
(name redacted) had met eligibility requirements," the report
states.
Memphis will present its findings to the Committee on
Infractions on Saturday in Indianapolis. Former coach John Calipari
is expected to participate by phone.
The NCAA also alleges an employee at Rose's Chicago high school
changed a grade so a C would show up on his transcript instead of a
D. The player then used the test score and the transcript to enroll
at Memphis.
A 2007 investigation by the school into the grade-tampering
charge determined that even if the grade had been changed, he was
still eligible for admission.
Athletic director R.C. Johnson has said the school checks out
potentials athletes, but has refused to detail efforts to
investigate.
Kentucky officials were aware of the allegations when they hired
Calipari and believe the coach was open and honest about the
situation. Johnson interviewed several high-profile coaches when
Calipari left, but couldn't lure them to Memphis. So he turned to
31-year-old Calipari assistant Josh Pastner.
Pastner, who has said he knew nothing about the investigation
before being hired, was excused from participation because of a
previous commitment.
NCAA officials notified Memphis on Jan. 16 of the "knowing
fraudulence or misconduct" that occurred in 2007-08. The Tigers
won 38 games that season and were the national runnerup.
Calipari, who left Memphis and signed an 8-year, $31.65 million
contract with Kentucky on March 31, has been assured by the NCAA
that he is not under investigation.
Rose, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft and the
current rookie of the year, has issued a statement through his
attorney Daniel E. Reidy and won't comment any further on the
investigation.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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