MU sets up own panel to examine allegations

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The entire Missouri men's basketball program will be investigated by a panel led by an electrical engineering professor because of allegations of academic cheating, university president Elson Floyd said Monday.

Missouri's athletic department already was conducting its own investigation and is cooperating with an NCAA investigation. In a statement, Floyd said the athletic department would cooperate in a probe to be "elevated to a comprehensive (internal/external) investigation of the entire men's basketball program."

Floyd said the investigation would be a "continuation, extension and amplification of the work already done" by the athletic department and that Columbia Chancellor Richard Wallace supported the expanded probe.

The investigation is to be led by Michael Devaney, a professor of electrical engineering and immediate past chairman of the Faculty Council on the Columbia campus.

"This is going to be a thorough and objective investigation of the men's basketball program, especially because of the allegations that have touched on academic integrity. I can tell you this is an issue that faculty takes very, very seriously and needs to be assured that the athletes' work is truly their own work," Devaney, a professor at Columbia since 1969, said in a telephone interview Monday evening.

The allegations of academic cheating publicly surfaced in recent weeks when the ex-girlfriend of former Missouri point guard Ricky Clemons alleged he received answers to tests and improper help writing papers.

Athletic director Mike Alden said he welcomed the elevated investigation and had discussed it with Floyd.

"The significance is that it adds another academic perspective to the review," Alden said in a telephone interview Monday night. "That shows very sound leadership on Dr. Floyd's part."

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