UT RESPONDS TO ACADEMIC CHEATING ALLEGATIONS

University of Texas officials are investigating allegations of academic cheating involving three former UT basketball players in a report by the Chronicle of Higher Education, including a test taken by Martez Walker in the fall of 2013.

Brad Wolverton of The Chronicle of Higher Education has outlined allegations of academic impropriety involving former Texas basketball players P.J. Tucker, J'Covan Brown and Martez Walker.

The story claims Walker was caught texting pictures of test questions to someone to get answers in the fall of 2013.

He eventually passed the class and received a 3.0 GPA for the academic year, the report said.

The potential violation with the NCAA is the professor who caught Walker was looking for guidance about how tough she should be on Walker, the story said, citing a Texas academic adviser.

Wolverton also said J'Covan Brown's former academic mentor had suggested words and ideas to help Brown do the work and that while Brown typed every word, part of the work was not Brown's.

Wolverton reported last year that Brown had only gotten eligible because a "fixer" had helped him pass online classes while he was in high school.

Wolverton also cited a former tutor for PJ Tucker who claimed someone wrote a paper for him after the then junior forward had left school to prepare for the NBA draft.

The story said the grade Tucker received for the paper helped Texas with their APR score, which had suffered in recent seasons.

The accusations laid out aren't likely to get Barnes or Texas hit with any violations.

Barnes has just taken over at Tennessee for Donnie Tyndall, who was fired due to NCAA issues while at Southern Miss.

Should anything else surface, there could be repercussions for both Barnes and Texas.

Here is the statement released Wednesday by UT in response to the Chronicle of Higher Education article:

"Academic integrity is at the core of The University of Texas.

"Our student-athletes’ academic progress rates are among the best in the nation.

"And we continually seek to foster an ethical culture that reduces the risk of wrongdoing, manages our internal controls, and responds to inappropriate conduct.

"The university takes any suggestion of wrongdoing extremely seriously. We are always looking to identify problems that may exist and ways we can do better.

"Working with external NCAA bylaw and academic compliance experts Gene Marsh and Geoff Silver, UT is investigating allegations raised by The Chronicle of Higher Education and has contacted the NCAA about them.

"We determined that the university had no knowledge of two former student-athletes allegedly receiving improper help with high school coursework before they enrolled.

"We now are reviewing three other cases purported to have occurred over a nine-year period since 2006 to determine if any university or NCAA rules were violated and if any action is needed.

"The university has no information that suggests former Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Barnes knew of or was involved in any academic improprieties.

"President Gregory L. Fenves is actively working with his leadership teams in both Student Affairs and Athletics to pursue the highest levels of integrity for all UT students."

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