Somehow, the Florida State University Office of Athletic Academic Support Services had in its employ a “Learning Specialist” who seemed to think it was part of his or her job to help a bunch of student athletes cheat.
As reported by the Orlando Sentinel:
A months long Florida State University investigation into the FSU Office of Athletic Academic Support Services has determined that two faculty members during the 2006-07 school year “perpetrated academic dishonesty” among 23 FSU athletes, 21 of whom are still enrolled at the university.
University president T.K. Wetherell today shared with the Florida State Athletics Committee the findings of the internal investigation. According to FSU’s report, a university “Learning Specialist” and tutor sometimes provided athletes answers to online quizzes and exams for a web-based course. The investigation also concluded that the Learning Specialist typed class assignments for the athletes. …
The investigation began in March, when an unidentified FSU athlete came forward and admitted that he had taken a quiz for another athlete, with the assistance and approval of the Learning Specialist.
Both the Learning Specialist and the tutor in the case have resigned, Wetherell said.
Two “faculty members” caught “perpetrating academic dishonesty”? I should hope they resigned. Indeed, I hope that strongly worded letters about their involvement in this precede them, just in case they are looking to pull these shenanigans somewhere else.
And make no mistake, the people who have really dropped the ethical ball in this situation are the faculty members charged with helping the FSU student athletes get a college education. Even if the students may be fuzzy about what that might involve, any tutor, learning specialist, instructor, or coach who is the least bit unclear about what role cheating on quizzes or turning in papers written by others ought to play in learning a subject (and in learning how to be a competent independent learner) probably shouldn’t be working at an institution of higher education.
Student athletes aren’t just cheating; they’re getting cheated. They deserve the college education they’ve been promised for entertaining alumni, fans, and boosters with their feats of athletic prowess. If universities aren’t serious about putting up that education, let’s call off the whole charade and just let the kids go pro.