A Banner Year for Academic Fraud Cases in College Sports

SMU has a nation-leading 10 major infractions in the NCAA. How does this continue to happen?

By Hady MawajdehSeptember 30, 2015 1:58 pm

Another major athletic program is in trouble for academic violations. Déjà vu, anyone?

Southern Methodist University’s men’s basketball coach Larry Brown is again under fire – his third such case. Plus, the men’s golf team is facing sanctions for academic fraud and unethical conduct. This is the 10th major NCAA infractions case against SMU.

The penalties will keep SMU from the 2016 postseason. SMU will lose nine scholarships over the next three years and face recruiting restrictions. And on top of that, head coach Brown, who was cited for a lack of head coach control, has been suspended for nine games during the upcoming season.

But as Jake New of Inside Higher Ed notes, SMU isn’t alone in breaking the rules: Think UT, Syracuse, Rutgers or UNC, which have all seen issues in their sports programs.

“It’s not necessarily something new, but some of the cases this year have been particularly egregious,” New says.

At SMU, an administrative assistant did the homework and exams for an online course that one of the basketball players was taking. Coach Brown knew about it but didn’t “create an atmosphere of compliance,” New says, which is why he’s to blame in the eyes of the NCAA.

Hear more in the audio player above.