| ||Associated Press|
MINNEAPOLIS -- Seventeen former men's basketball players
must respond to allegations they cheated while at the University of
Minnesota or risk losing class credits or even their degrees.
"Very soon, the letters will be going out to the students,"
university provost Bob Bruininks said Thursday. "We hope to move
forward on this very quickly."
The charges are in a report from a blue-ribbon committee of
professors who spent eight months investigating allegations of
cheating in the men's basketball program.
Professor emeritus Warren Ibele, who chaired the six-member
committee, wrote that the investigation has been "difficult and
disheartening for all involved."
"It has been, in some ways, a long procedure," he said and
added, "The committee's work is done."
Each of the former basketball players faces one to six charges
of misconduct. Those players are no longer on campus. One retired
professor was also implicated.
Federal law prevents the university from releasing the names of
those charged. The report does not provide details of how the
alleged cheating happened.
But in the past, many former athletes have been accused of
letting Jan Gangelhoff, a former office manager in the academic
counseling office, do their coursework.
Bruininks said the 17 students' transcripts have been frozen
until they respond to the findings in the report.
The freeze will only affect them if they try to transfer to
another school or if a potential employer requests records of
classes and grades.
If they respond, the students are entitled to a hearing and
appeal of the findings in the student judicial system, he said.
Students who are found guilty, or don't contest the findings,
could lose credits, have grades lowered or lose their degrees.
Bruininks said the retired professor implicated in the report is
probably beyond the school's reach for most disciplinary action.
However, he said the professor will not be eligible for some
benefits other retired faculty enjoy, such as office space,
computer equipment and clerical help.
The former professor also will not be allowed to teach classes,
as some retired faculty members do.
Bruininks has said one reason more university employees weren't
found responsible for fraud is that those who were most involved in
academic cheating are already gone, including Gangelhoff and
academic adviser Alonzo Newby.