Matthew Whitaker’s resume states that he had been selected as an Academic All-Star during his time as a football player at the University of Iowa in the early 90s. But, the Wall Street Journal reports, the acting attorney general never actually got the honor. The claim reportedly has appeared in several places, including Whitaker’s resume, the website of a law firm he worked for, and his 2010 application for a judgeship in Iowa. But the College Sports Information Directors of America says Whitaker was never named an Academic All-American, which requires honorees to have a GPA of at least 3.3 and hold a starting or important reserve position on a college team. Whitaker, who became acting attorney general last month after Jeff Sessions was forced out, did receive the similarly named All-District honor while he was a tight end in Iowa.
That award goes to student athletes in eight regions in the US, and then those honorees are considered for the Academic All-American title. A Justice Department spokeswoman tells the Journal that Whitaker based his claim on the 1993 University of Iowa football media guide that said he was a “District VII academic All-American.” And the athletic director for the school, Steve Row, says that the way it was listed in the guide may be the source of the confusion. Nonetheless, per Vice, “Whitaker’s background was already facing deep skepticism”—namely his involvement with an invention-promotion company that dealt with things like “time-travel technology” and “masculine toilets for well-endowed men.” As for the Academic All-Star issue, the Journal says it was first raised Monday by a Wikipedia editor. (Whitaker’s financial disclosures also raised questions.)