Florida State responds to New York Times story on academic fraud involving football players
On Friday morning, a huge New York Times story broke regarding academic fraud at Florida State University.
Writer Mike McIntire detailed the story of former FSU teaching assistant Christina Suggs, who reportedly felt pressure from university officials and other professors to keep star football players eligible.
In one segment of the story, which is well worth a full read, McIntire writes about former FSU RB James Wilder, who was at the center of some academic integrity issues:
Ms. Suggs wrote that Mr. Wilder “should have done the work like everyone else” and objected to granting him special treatment, telling a colleague, “I am not offering this opportunity to other students.” The colleague agreed, summing up their mutual concern about Professor Bonn: “Trying to put a stop to his favoritism for athletes once and for all.”
Friends of Ms. Suggs said she was painfully aware of the stakes involved in filing her complaint, including the possibility that athletes found in violation of academic standards might be ineligible to play under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. All but one of the players identified in her emails went on to the National Football League.
“It was a huge heartache for her,” said Barbara Davis, a fellow doctoral student and close friend of Ms. Suggs. “She told me how there had been tremendous pressure on her to pass these football players, even though they didn’t deserve it.”
The controversy seemed to center on some online hospitality courses, which have since been modified by the university.
On Friday morning, the university responded to the New York Times article, saying an independent investigation into the course was done and no NCAA violations were found:
— Safid Deen (@Safid_Deen) September 1, 2017
Florida State is set to take on Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Saturday night. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. Eastern time and can be seen on ABC.