2013 College Football Champs Accused of Academic Fraud

Florida State may have given preferential treatment to six of its players
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2017 8:50 AM CDT
Florida State Football Facing Academic Fraud Allegations
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013, file photo, Florida State's James Wilder Jr. (32) runs past Duke's Justin Foxx (92) in the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship NCAA football game in Charlotte, N.C. Christina Suggs, a former teaching assistant and doctoral student, said in a recent book...   (Bob Leverone)

Florida State University once again finds itself answering allegations of academic fraud involving its football program, the AP reports. The New York Times on Friday reported that six players on the 2013 National Championship team received special treatment in online courses. The university said in an email to the Associated Press that an independent investigation found no wrongdoing. "Florida State University retained a leading law firm with a highly experienced collegiate sports practice to conduct an independent investigation of the course in question," said university spokeswoman Amy Farnum-Patronis. "After a thorough examination of the facts, no NCAA violations were found. The course was subsequently modified for other reasons."

The university has been at the center of academic allegations before. The football program had 12 victories vacated in 2006 and '07 due to cheating in an online music course involving 61 student-athletes in 10 sports. The vacated wins meant that Bobby Bowden did not retire as the winningest coach in Division I history. It is also not the first time the 2013 team has been under scrutiny. Quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of raping a student but was never charged. The university settled a Title IX lawsuit over its handling of the allegations with Winston's accuser, Erica Kinsman, in January 2016 for $1.7 million. The University of North Carolina is currently under an NCAA investigation involving African Studies courses. (More Florida State University stories.)

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