Cal reports inquiry results to Pac-10, tightens academic compliance controls

By Matthew Lyon, Public Affairs

28 February 2001 | Chancellor Berdahl has submitted the results of a internal investigation to the Pacific-10 Conference that confirms the conference’s conclusion that in 1999 a professor granted two student athletes course credit for work they most likely did not perform.

The five-month inquiry, conducted by an independent investigator at the university’s request, found that “the core violations are limited to one faculty member, two student athletes and one academic semester.” The investigation also indicated the university’s initial inquiry was incomplete. The investigation found no evidence of unethical conduct by any coach or other member of Cal’s athletic program staff.

Berdahl informed the Pac-10 that the campus has already tightened institutional control and compliance responsibilities. In addition to undertaking corrective actions, the university will request the conference’s approval of self-imposed penalties for violations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s rules.

Penalties proposed by the university include the loss of four football scholarships during the next two years and self-imposed probation for a two-year period.

The charge of faculty misconduct is being adjudicated according to the processes defined by the Academic Senate.

The two football players who were given unearned academic credit in the 1999 spring semester are no longer at the university.

An initial investigation by the university early last year turned up no verified evidence of an infraction. In September, however, the conference notified Berkeley officials that “reasonable cause for concern” remained, based on information gathered by the Pac-10 during the summer. In response, the university undertook an exhaustive investigation, aided by Michael Glazier, an expert in the field of NCAA infraction inquiries, from the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, of Overland Park, Kan.

The independent investigator also confirmed that no one from Cal’s coaching or athletic program staff was involved in the improprieties. Moreover, Head Football Coach Tom Holmoe had alerted school officials of his concern about whether the credits were properly earned.

“Berkeley’s academic integrity must be beyond reproach,” said Berdahl. “The sad fact is that our community’s most honored standards were violated. Where trust is most required, it broke down, deeply hurting us all, and especially those who now must live with the consequences of this misconduct even though they were not involved.

“Though an isolated incident of academic impropriety,” said Berdahl, “its seriousness must be acknowledged in order for us to restore Berkeley’s integrity.”


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