Responding to claims made by The Chronicle of Higher Education Wednesday that included academic misconduct by some basketball players at the University of Texas while Rick Barnes was head coach, Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart released a statement Wednesday supporting Barnes.
"Obviously we can't talk about what happened in the past at another university, however, as stated clearly by the University of Texas, 'The university has no information that suggests former men's basketball coach Rick Barnes knew of or was involved in any academic improprieties,'" the statement read.
"Coach Barnes has a sterling reputation as a person of very high ethical standards at every institution he has represented and we are excited to have him lead our men's basketball program."
The Chronicle's report detailed two former Texas academic advisors who said a math instructor caught basketball player Martez Walker snapping pictures of questions and asking for help from his phone during a test in the fall of 2013. Despite being reported to the athletic department, according to the report, Walker passed the class and continued playing for the Longhorns for the rest of the season. He also made the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Two other allegations stemming from improper academic assistance to basketball players P.J. Tucker, who played at Texas from 2003-06, and J'Covan Brown, who was with the Longhorns from 2009-12, were also detailed in the report.
A statement released by the University of Texas Wednesday said the school is investigating the incidents and stated nothing currently implies Barnes knew about the academic improprieties being committed.