A report published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on Wednesday alleges that multiple former Texas men's basketball players were given impermissible academic assistance during their time at the school.
The alleged academic misconduct in the report took place under former Longhorns coach Rick Barnes from 1998 until this year. Barnes and Texas "mutually parted ways" after 17 seasons in March, and he has since been hired by Tennessee.
Texas issued a statement in response to the report on Wednesday, saying it takes “any suggestion of wrongdoing extremely seriously.” The university said it has no information that Barnes was involved in any academic improprieties.
Among the allegations in the Chronicle's report is the claim that former players J'Covan Brown and P.J. Tucker received assistance with classes and with writing papers. The report also details an allegation about former player Martez Walker that accuses Walker taking pictures of test questions with his phone and sending them to someone outside the classroom so that the person could assist him.
Walker later passed the class and was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, according to the Chronicle.
The Chronicle report also contains an allegation that Brown received academic help from a former community-college basketball coach while at college preparatory school after he failed to meet Texas' admission standards as a high school senior.
In its statement, Texas addressed the allegations:
We determined that the university had no knowledge of two former student-athletes allegedly receiving improper help with high school coursework before they enrolled. We now are reviewing three other cases purported to have occurred over a nine-year period since 2006 to determine if any university or NCAA rules were violated and if any action is needed.
Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart also issued a statement on Wednesday reiterating Texas's stance that there is no information suggesting Barnes was involved. Hart added that Barnes has had a “sterling reputation as a person of very high ethical standards at every institution he has represented.”
- Molly Geary