Emmert asking LSU faculty to come forward

LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert has issued a call to all university faculty, asking them to come forward with any information they may have regarding allegations of academic fraud at the Academic Center for Student Athletes (ACSA).<br> A university probe continues at LSU into whether or not athletes received improper assistance with their classwork and whether some professors were pressured to provide that help.

Emmert released a statement to LSU faculty through University Relations Friday afternoon.  

"In late January the university became aware of alleged academic improprieties involving student athletes," Emmert says in the statement. "As soon as these allegations surfaced, I directed university counsel in conjunction with the offices of Academic Affairs and Human Resource Management to conduct an investigation into the allegations in accordance with the policies and procedures of the university, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

"Everyone associated with the investigation has been given the responsibility to conduct a comprehensive, thorough, fair and impartial review of the allegations, as well as any other allegations or improprieties that may come to their attention. It is essential, because of the nature of the allegations, that the review and investigation be precise and complete, and that when the investigation is over that everyone is satisfied that the final report is thorough and objective.

Emmert told faculty members he would have no tolerance for any NCAA and SEC violations in LSU's athletic department, especially those involving the academic side university. He said he was pleased with the progress being made in the investigation but wants to make sure every stone has been upturned in an effort to make sure a thorough probe is conducted.

Faculty members with information they feel is relative are being asked to contact Laura Lindsey, a professor in LSU's Department of Mass Communications, to "arrange a private meeting with the appropriate investigative team to review the information," Emmert said. 

Emmert said it is hos goal to have the investigation completed by May 1 after which he is expected to turn over the information to the SEC. It will then be up to the SEC to decide whether the NCAA should be notified about any violations discovered.

Roger Grooters, Exective Director of the ASCA, has reported seven incidents described in a university memo as "direct violation of NCAA student-athlete extra benefits" and university policies.

Allegedly, student-athletes were asking unnamed parties to type papers and perform summarizing assignments for them. Student-athletes were also observed taking tests without supervision.

Attention was drawn to LSU's internal probe when a kniesiology professor hired an attorney after coming forward with complaints of being pressured to give favorable treatment to student-athletes.

While the unnamed professor has not filed suit against LSU, a former graduate student in the kinesiology department is taking the university to court. Caroline Owen claims she was kicked out of her master's degree program for refusing to keep quiet about plagiarism involving student-athletes.

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