clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Massive NCAA Academic Fraud Scandal Uncovered

Mr. White, as he would like to be called, masterminded simple but highly effective techniques to get virtually anyone into college.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For some time now, we've all been thinking that the UNC scandal was the defining scandal of college athletics, and why not? It was systematic academic fraud which went on for 18 years.

Well, now it has a rival and the only reason you haven't heard of it is where it was published, because The Chronicle Of Higher Education is not normally a site you think of when you think of investigative journalism.

Shop Amazon and help DBR

Nonetheless, the Chronicle seems to have the story straight on "Mr. White," who has cooperated in its investigation.

This guy worked out a system for getting players through online classes or classes by mail, and he made sure they got through, even if he had to take the tests himself - which was fine, since he had the answer keys.

The system he worked out is pretty simple and brilliant. The online courses were not secure; the classes by mail required merely a proctor and a signature. Since the schools were lax about changing the tests up, the answers were never very different. And he used pre-paid credit cards to cover his tracks.

This involves mostly junior college players and coaches across the country but mostly in the South and Southeast. Among the few coaches specifically implicated: Stan Heath, formerly at Southern Florida, and Isaiah Thomas, formerly of Florida Atlantic. Heath had no comment; Thomas denied it through a spokeswoman.

Among other schools implicated: Texas, Liberty, Morgan State, Oregon, and Xavier of Ohio.

The NCAA has interviewed him several times and he knows that he is now seen as an informant rather than a participant. Snitching does not seem to appeal to him but he hasn't ruled it out.

There are also glimpses into the broader world of cheating: "Last spring a former assistant basketball coach in the Southeastern Conference attempted to pass online test answers to a former colleague, according to a director of academic support with knowledge of the situation. A coach in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference told The Chronicle how he had helped players trick webcams set up to monitor their online exams. And a former Division I assistant described how he had spent years handing players the answers to online tests."

It's not a pretty picture to say the least, but it reflects, yet again, how the vast amount of money flowing through what we used to call amateur basketball is corrupting everything.