Sunday evening The Chronicle for Higher Education published an article in which former academic adviser at UCLA accused an assistant coach of requesting that he change a player’s grade in order to ensure that the player would remain eligible.
Will Collier, who left his position as the academic coordinator for men’s basketball in January, discussed this and many other issues that he found while working at the Pac-12 school. According to the story UCLA has vehemently denied the allegations, also noting that Collier made mistakes while on the job.
Current assistant coach Duane Broussard is named as the assistant who came up with the plan of getting the player’s grade changed, with Broussard denying the allegation according to The Chronicle.
Mr. Collier, 33, who had just completed his first year on the job, contacted Duane Broussard, an assistant coach and the team’s academic liaison. The player, Mr. Collier explained, had received a C-minus in a communications class but needed a B to participate in team activities. The assistant coach, according to Mr. Collier, proposed a plan: Approach the professor about changing the player’s grade.
That wasn’t the reaction Mr. Collier had expected, not at UCLA, whose storied tradition and reputation for high academic standards he had long revered. When he took the job here, he was aware that the university, like many others, admitted players with academic deficiencies. But he believed that, with the right motivation and support, he could help them succeed.
Collier kept records of his work while at UCLA according to The Chronicle, noting issues with player attendance in regards to both classes and academic advising sessions. But UCLA has denied any wrongdoing, and it remains to be seen if this is something the NCAA would consider looking into.
In recent months stories regarding possible academic wrongdoing have been written about the basketball programs at North Carolina (currently under NCAA investigation), Texas and SMU (recently punished by the NCAA).