In the past five seasons, Tommy Amaker has transformed Harvard basketball from an eight-win laughingstock to a 26-win powerhouse by landing higher-profile recruits than any previous Crimson coach had ever even pursued.
Now the question is whether Amaker will receive less academic leeway in the future after two of his top players have been implicated in a widespread cheating scandal.
Ivy League Player of the Year candidate Kyle Casey and fellow senior co-captain Brandyn Curry are among the 125 students the university’s administrative board is investigating for “acts of academic dishonesty” on a take-home final exam in a government class, SI.com reported late Monday night. The allegations range from “inappropriate collaboration” to “outright plagiarism,” both of which could carry up to a one-year suspension from school.
Rather than fight the allegations, Casey will withdraw from school and likely miss the 2012-13 season, SI.com reported. Curry has yet to decide whether to withdraw or not, his father, Herman Curry, said.
The advantage of withdrawing from school for Casey and Curry is that it could enable them to return and play for Harvard during the 2013-14 season. Whereas they risk forfeiting their final season of Ivy League eligibility if they disputed the charges and the board ruled against them, withdrawing for a year leaves the door open for readmission to Harvard and a return to the basketball team this time next year.
Even though plenty of everyday students are ensnared in this scandal, it’s the involvement of a handful of high-profile athletes that will surely generate the most headlines. In addition to Casey and Curry, the Harvard Crimson reported Monday that the football team is preparing to “miss a few players.”
Could this cause Harvard’s administration to rethink its enrollment standards for men’s basketball and other sports?
[Editor’s Note: The course in question was taught by a black professor and covered “black politics.”]