Florida State has had some tainted wins in the past from former coach Bobby Bowden’s tenure as there were vacated games. It looks like another serious situation could be arising under current coach Jimbo Fisher as the New York Times is reporting that several players from the 2013 BCS Championship team were involved in some potential academic fraud.
The NYT believes the school was investigating allegations of academic favoritism involving a half-dozen of its leading players. The inquiry, previously unreported, stemmed from a complaint by a teaching assistant — Ms. Suggs — who said she felt pressured to give special breaks to athletes in online hospitality courses on coffee, tea and wine, where some of them handed in plagiarized work and disregarded assignments and quizzes with several specific instances mentioned by the teaching assistant.
The university is denying any wrongdoing at this time. Here’s a statement that was sent to Noles247 from the university:
“Florida State University retained a leading law firm with a highly experienced collegiate sports practice to conduct an independent investigation of the course in question,” FSU spokesperson Amy Farnum-Patronis wrote in an email. “After a thorough examination of the facts, no NCAA violations were found. The course was subsequently modified for other reasons.”
Running back James Wilder Jr. was one of the students allegedly giving the teaching assistant trouble, as she was instructed to work with him and get his grades up to where they needed to be so he would be eligible to play. The assistant reportedly tried to take a stand against the professor forcing her to give Wilder better grades and make up assignments that were way past due so she filed the complaint.
There was also another player, defensive lineman Chris Casher, who allegedly handed in plagiarized work. Ms. Suggs notified a program associate in the office and the professor overseeing the studies allowed Casher to redo the work explaining how to paraphrase and cite sources.
There were a total of six athletes allegedly involved in the scandal, including Tre’ Jackson and Kelvin Benjamin.