Playing basketball in college is a dream for many kids. Only an elite few ever make it a reality. Once they reach that level, though, it takes more than skills on the court to stay in the game.
Maintaining your status as an eligible college basketball player under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) isn't only about how many assists, rebounds, or points you can rack up on the stat sheet. To be eligible, players have to be enrolled at an accredited institution, take and pass a particular amount of courses and credit hours, and have a blemish-free academic record. Misconduct in the classroom, or running afoul of minimum academic requirements, can jeopardize a student-athlete's place on the team.
Group Cheating Scandal Leading Longhorn Basketball to the Stocks
At the University of Texas, three basketball players came under fire for allegations of academic misconduct. In this case, a math professor allegedly caught one of the players “taking pictures of a test on his phone and seeking answers to those questions.” Another student had a paper “submitted on [his] behalf… despite the player reportedly being out of state at the time preparing for the NBA draft.”
Colleges and universities normally take cheating very seriously, with minimum sanctions leading to a separation from the school via a suspension or expulsion. In the Texas fiasco, however, one of the students was named to the “Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll,” an accolade that requires a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.
As you might expect, the Longhorns were corralled by the NCAA for further investigation. If the University of Texas is found to have harbored academic fraud, it faces significant sanctions. The students (who transferred elsewhere before charges were brought against them) could also face punishments, including:
- Loss of NCAA eligibility
- Official notation of investigation and disciplinary action on record
- Revocation or withholding of degree or awards
- A ban on attending NCAA events
Beleaguered Bulldog Basketball Reels After Academic Misconduct
While some players and their college teams may be able to kick the can down the road in dodging severe punishments, others aren't so lucky. Mississippi State's basketball team, for example, felt the full brunt of an academic scandal when a player for the Bulldogs was involved in a cheating scandal that involved a part-time student tutor completing coursework on behalf of various student-athletes.
After an investigation, the basketball player was suspended for the final ten games of the season for a “violation of team rules” and was ordered to sit out another 11 games the following season to conclude his suspension. Even though only one member of the basketball team engaged in misconduct, the NCAA levied harsh sanctions on the university, including:
- Loss of one scholarship allowed for a team member
- Reduction in “official visits” allowed for men's basketball recruits
- A three-year probationary period under NCAA supervision
- Vacating wins from the season during which the misconduct occurred
- Unspecified fines
The loss of an athletic career can be a heartbreaking experience for anyone. However, if it's due to academic misconduct, there are far more damaging implications that can ruin anyone's career, basketball or otherwise.
Winning National Student Athlete Defense Team Can Help You
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team has helped countless student athletes rise above the challenges that can present themselves over the course of a student athlete's collegiate journey. Attorney Lento and his team know the blood, sweat, and tears that student athletes put forth, and they know that false allegations or even poor decisions should not mean the end of a student athlete's academic and professional goals. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn how a winning team can help.