Texas opens independent investigation in allegations of academic misconduct

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Texas announced on Monday night that the university has opened an independent investigation into recent allegations of academic impropriety within the athletic department.

A school spokesman said that the probe will be overseen by Gene Marsh, a former chairman of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, and that his work has already started. The story was first reported by the Austin-American Statesman.

“I take anything having to do with questions of academic integrity very seriously, including those outside of academics,” Greg Fenvus, the new school president, said during a teleconference on Tuesday. “Any practices that are recommended to us, we’ll embrace. All indications are that everything is fine.”

Fenvus ordered the review after a story last week in the Chronicle of Higher Education that tied three separate players to potential academic misconduct over the course of the last nine seasons of Rick Barnes’ tenure. The story stated that former Longhorns P.J. Tucker and J’Covan Brown were aided in writing papers for classes; in Tucker’s case, the paper helped protect Texas’ APR score. The report also stated that Martez Walker, who has since transferred out of the program, passed a class after he was caught cheating on a test.

A previous story in the Chronicle accused Brown of cheating during his high school days in order to get eligible for the college level.

“There was nothing specific that [Marsh] found at this point,” Fenvus added. “He is just beginning his investigation into this. It will take some time for him and will be a very thorough investigation. At this point, he has not found anything of major concern.”