Saturday, May 17, 2008

Teacher defends allegations; Arthur ‘frustrated’


Arthur's high school eligibility questioned

Questions arise about KU basketball star Darrell Arthur's eligibility while in high school, but KU officials are confident the university did nothing wrong. 6Sports director Kevin Romary has more from the newsroom.

Arthur's high school grades disputed

According to a story aired by WFAA TV in Dallas last night, Darrell Arthur twice had math grades changed in high school.

Darrell Arthur is in Dallas right now, staying in shape and preparing for the NBA pre-draft camp in two weeks.

His inner circle, meanwhile, is trying to put out a lot of fires.

Both sides of the story were told ad nauseam Friday, after a report by Dallas television station WFAA on Thursday alleged that the Kansas University basketball forward was the beneficiary of improper grade-changing while in high school.

Arthur's coach at South Oak Cliff, James Mays, was one target of criticism by former math teacher Winford Ashmore in WFAA's report. Ashmore stood by his story in an interview with the Journal-World on Friday, calling the Arthur allegations "the tip of the iceberg" in a climate of corruption at South Oak Cliff.

"In this case, Darrell is not the villain. He's the victim, not the villain," Ashmore told the Journal-World. "A student is going to do just what the adults allow him to do."

Mays denied any wrongdoing, calling the allegations "ludicrous" and "inaccurate" and stating one grade was changed due to a teacher error. He said he spoke with Arthur on Friday.

"He's disappointed and frustrated, obviously," Mays said. "But he's a trooper - a stand-up guy."

Ashmore alleged that Arthur benefited from improper grade changing multiple times in math classes throughout high school. The changes, Ashmore claims, helped qualify Arthur for a scholarship at Kansas that he probably wouldn't have been eligible for otherwise.

There is a history of similar allegations at South Oak Cliff. The school's 2006 boys basketball team - led by Arthur, a senior - was forced to forfeit its state championship after the district determined one of Arthur's teammates had grades altered to make him eligible.

Ashmore said he told administration of his concerns with Arthur's math grades years ago, but that the higher-ups "brushed it aside."

"It's not about Darrell," Ashmore said. "It's about uncovering the whole system and what's going on."

KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said the department was interested in the ongoing investigation by the Dallas Independent School District into the matter, but was confident that Kansas would not be hurt if the reports are true.

"In our mind, we obviously had nothing to do with the situation," Marchiony said. "The high school sends the transcript to the NCAA. The NCAA decides whether the player is eligible. The NCAA declared Darrell Arthur eligible. I can't imagine a scenario where Kansas would be affected by this."

KU basketball coach Bill Self released a statement Friday afternoon stating: "We are aware of the allegations as described in the news story. I'm sure the high school and the school district will do a good job determining the facts. It would be premature and inappropriate for anyone to comment any further until the process in Dallas takes its course."

An e-mail to the NCAA inquiring about the situation was not returned Friday.

Arthur was still an undecided recruit when the alleged grade-changing took place. He signed with Kansas at the end of his senior year after helping South Oak Cliff to consecutive state titles.

A 6-foot-9 forward, Arthur has played two seasons at Kansas, helping the Jayhawks to a national championship last month. He since has declared for the NBA Draft but has not hired an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to KU for his junior season.

Mays said the latest allegations wouldn't be a factor on Arthur's decision to go pro or stay at Kansas. As far as KU is concerned, Marchiony said the department would be a spectator as it unfolds.

"All we can do is wait," Marchiony said. "We're as interested as anyone to find out what the real situation is."


yates33333 13 years ago

You wonder why the teacher waited two years or more to go public with this information. I can understand the sensationalism of the news media. The rivalry amongst radio and TV stations in Dallas is intense. Notice how the LJW keeps running this story. This is a brew they all like to guzzle. But why did the teacher wait so long?

Atch70 13 years ago

If this is true are we really going to hold something against a minor for a choice that was made by an adult? Darrell was a young kid at the time and a grown adult decided to alter his grades. If it is true then it is the school he attended that should be the focus.

Dyrk Dugan 13 years ago

The KC Star with another lead story to top it's website....and it will splash on its sports page as well. Good grief, let's get this over with. What's puzzling is, one player got declared ineligible...and the coach AND principal are accused in this story of telling the teacher to change the grade. The coach is still there....and i assume the principal is stil working in some sort of administration capacity. If this is all true, then how do these folks still have jobs? Why would the school still keep Mays? The first Star story talked about how he had no grades....and then he had a 70. No grades in what? all classes? P.E.? i mean this whole story's just very weird, and sounds like some big stretches are being made. ESPN said that if Arthur knew or KU knew, then the NCAA could declare him ineligible. How would we ever know if Arthur knew? If he confesses? Does he still have his old report cards...or some tests with red marks on them? a secretly taped conversation? i mean, it's a little nuts this whole thing.

Chicago_JHawk 13 years ago

The timelines I read about yesterday had a couple cases where the grade wasn't altered until the next academic year. How is that possible? Once a grade is entered at the end of a term, wouldn't that be a permanent record? The accusations are a little strange.As for J Rush, it seems the NCAA definitely takes money matters more seriously. Taking money causes you to lose your amateur status, making you inelligible, and one would assume there would be red flags clearly visible to the university (fancy belongings, etc). To ultimately deem Arthur ineligible because he technically shouldn't have passes HS algebra is a little more of a stretch. Assuming the grade hadn't been changed, he'd have had a chance to retake the class during the summer or something. He wasn't given that opportunity because he was given a passing grade. It's all hindsight.To punish KU for something like this is unfathonable and would set a very dangerous precedent by the NCAA. Unless it is shown that KU saw two different transcripts with different grades, then no penalty should be enforced.

JJHAWK 13 years ago

The risk quotient is that the NCAA has held colleges accountable for things that they had no involvement with before, ex., Jaron Rush and UCLA. Jaron's involvement in payments from 'piggy'/or gifts. UCLA had to forfeit 2 NCAA victories and pay back hundred's of thousands of dollars.And that penalty would have been slapped on KU had Roy not stopped recruiting Jaron.The difference in this case may lie in NCAA delineation of responsibilties. Past rulings seem to promote a policy that the policing and investigating of athletes (expecially with regard to money issues) is a college responsibility, while eligibility status of atheletes with regard to grades and college entrance exams is the exclusive domain of the NCAA.The basic question here is: If the NCAA tells a college that they may use a certain player in an NCAA sponsered event, does the college in question have the right to rely on that grant of privilege when the only issue is academics that the NCAA has already ruled on?

Andrew Ledell 13 years ago

Creighton: LOVE the Billy Madison reference! One of my favorite comedy movies ever.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 13 years ago

The NCAA takes its time. They still have not ruled on the payments of $265,000 to USC's Reggie Bush and are likely to let slide the $30,000 to O.J. Mayo of USC. There clearly are different rules when USC is concerned. Why should anyone try to predict what they will do withArthur's situation. If the "grade changing?" occurred 2 years ago surely the statute of limitations has been missed and it should be a non-issue.

okiedave 13 years ago

I think Arthur should visit with an attorney and discuss defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress issues.Ashmore, who is probably a frustrated Longhorn fan, has accused Arthur of participation in a fraud and accused him of having obtained his high school diploma and national championship ring by deceitful actions as a minor child. Why is Ashmore now coming forward 5 or 6 years later?? Who is putting him up to this or is it just sour grapes at being a good math wiz but only destined to make a fraction of the living that Arthur is going to make in the NBA?? If Ashmore needs to change the system in the Dallas Public School system, he should work within the confines of the Dallas Public School System and not drag Arthur into his beef.

Lance Hobson 13 years ago

How can this ever be proved? Unless the teacher kept his old tests and work, it's just his words on something that happened a long time ago, they will never know. I would think the burden of proof is on him since the grade is in the official transcript. The NCAA can't go around handing out penalties on accusations. They shouldn't penalize KU anyway since it's their job to look at the scores and transcripts. KU didn't even go after this guy until after he graduated.His good academic standing at KU further damages the teacher's credibility.

Martin Rosenblum 13 years ago

Get a load of what they're saying in Memphis... sour grapes, some common sense, some predictable ignorance but for the most part it shows how this issue only incites exagerations and mis-information.

davidsmom 13 years ago

Television newsrooms are not the source of real journalism. Their product does not exist to inform the public but to get the highest ratings possible. If you want real journalism, then you have to go to actual news organizations.

13 years ago

tis4tim - I posted the link for the WFAA video yesterday, and I was getting ready to say the same thing as you when I read your post. To hear him speak, Ashmore doesn't sound like much of an educator, less so a credible one. Like many others, I am baffled as to why he waited so long to bring this up. I guess he was just waiting for the right outlet that would help make him and themselves famous for five minutes.

yovoy 13 years ago

if you aren't from around dallas, and you have no idea about oak cliff in general, i'll say it is THE 'hood in dallas. that said, i understand the desire to want good things (like a good basketball team) for the kids you teach. good things for kids that might not have many good things come their way in the course of a "normal" day. as an educator, the drive to make a good feeling last for some kids that are "deserving" for months instead of days could easily push you to do some untoward things. if d.a. was an arse in class, and didn't try, i'd say he deserves a 'd'. if he was present and really made an effort, who knows? if a kid is just dumb in a particular subject, but hardworking, why not help 'em out? i DO hold athletes to a higher standard in class, even if i can understand those that don't.combine my dumb thinking on effort with a bleeding heart, and this really isn't a big deal - it should be The Deal - sometimes. illegal or not. ...the other shoe is about to drop, but if you don't teach, you don't know.

Tulsa3 13 years ago

the most important thing for me is that he was never in any trouble (academically or otherwise) during his time at KU. If this really did happen it was probably someone else's idea and I'm not inclined to trust a teacher that will show his grade book to reporters since parents often have a hard enough time seeing their kids' grades.

FlaHawk 13 years ago

Dallas public schools are very bad. South Dallas is even worse. Oak Cliff is in the heart of South Dallas. This school has long had a reputation as an athletic factory and not an academic anything.Why do you think Arthur wore 00 at KU?

Martin Rosenblum 13 years ago

Don't student-athletes also have to score the same minimums on ACT's as regular students before being accepted at KU? If so, and if the NCAA signed off on Shady's high school transcript thereby declaring him eligible as a student-athelete (at KU or any other institution), where could any possible exposure be for KU?If he is successful in being a draft pick and does sign an NBA contract, I'm sure there will be plenty of "math-savvy" folks at his side at all times. His math skills then may not be so much of an issue.

Lance Hobson 13 years ago

Maybe Arthur should threaten a lawsuit against this guy, that may shut him up if he can't prove the allegations. DA will certainly have the resources to do that very soon.

tis4tim 13 years ago

Okiedave, You said: "Who is putting him up to this or is it just sour grapes at being a good math wiz but only destined to make a fraction of the living that Arthur is going to make in the NBA??" the link about the WFAA report below that was posted yesterday by someone (sorry, I forgot the name) and then tell me how much of a "wiz" that teacher is in ANYTHING. He sounds more uneducated than the kids he purports to teach.

Marvin Koelsch 13 years ago

What happened to the federal laws about confidentiality of student records? Why are these people in Dallas not being investigated by the U. S. Government about illegal release of these student records? That teacher in Dallas should be in jail whether the allegations are true or not.

Roger Tobias 13 years ago

The reason Arthur won't sue is because he doesn't want to have any grades, or the perception that he knew the changing of the grades, to be made public in the discovery phase of a suit. He has nothing to gain from such a suit. The only individual with a right to make his grades public is Arthur himself; anyone else doing so makes it a very serious breach of confidentiality. From my time on the BOE, I can assure you that none of us was privy to individual student grades, even in executive session. Ashmore has no integrity, and must believe he has nothing more to lose. I presume his teaching certificate in the state of TX has been suspended.

Ron_Kellogg 13 years ago

Let's hear it for the so-called "tutors" who keep our guys eligible while they're at KU.

Chris Weaver 13 years ago

a lot of provocative posts on this board. thanks guys.i too wonder about the legality of making public a student's grades without his consent. it seems to me that a school or a school district could access records and transcripts in self investigative circumstances, but could not make specific grades public. a student can have his records released to other institutions like colleges or the NCAA clearinghouse, but then those institutions are bound to keep them any event, it looks in many ways that this is a problem with the south dallas school district and not with the NCAA clearinghouse or KU. hopefully this gets rectified soon.

Robin Smith 13 years ago

I have a feeling we're going to hear about this in connection with the title from other fanbases for a long time regardless of what happens next.

Drew Bender 13 years ago

memhawk, well put... i read all the posts... a lot of ignorant thinking but some sensible people out there... memptiger4life said it best... LET IT GO... haha... he sounds like a true basketball fan rather than some typical ignorant, bandwagon, good once-every-two-decade Memphis fan

Steve Hengeli 13 years ago

"Ashmore alleged that Arthur benefited from improper grade changing multiple times in math classes throughout high school. "I've seen this before. This is almost like the plot of the movie Billy Madison. I say that Arthur should just go back to school for a few weeks, starting with first grade. If that doesn't work out, then they can just finish with an academic decathlon.

not_important 13 years ago

The timing is a lot like Billy Martin and the Yankees waiting to nail George Brett and his Pine Tar bat. They knew about the bat for a few weeks after having played in KC. Brett was still using it when they got to NY (better quality sticks back in the day) and they didn't say a word until Brett hit that go ahead homer.Ashmore has been holding this thing in his pocket knowing that Arthur was a big fish and was waiting for the right time to make the biggest splash. Everything may be true, but that just means it should have been brought up years ago.As I posted yesterday, Arthur's hefty contract that will be coming soon will more than adequately pay an attorney to make sure that "educator" will be destitute for the rest of his life for disclosing his grades.

Pbbut 13 years ago

I hate to get ahead of myself, but what about Arthur's right to privacy? On what basis does this teacher have for disclosing this? My understanding is that the individual involed, Arthur, is the only person with the ability to disclose, and if true, why would he? Is a college sophomore basketball player a 'public figure?' Or a high school freshman. Second what about the potential malfeasance of the NCAA? How is a member institution at greater fault than the governing body, if the member followed the rules prescribed?If nothing else, I think the NCAA will blow this off, because it makes them look worse than the member. KU's only culpability in this is if they influenced the school to change the grade or knew of it and didn't report.

lee3022 13 years ago

Ashmore has been part of a feud in that HS for 2 years. He was suspended for a year in 2006. He was investigated then and apparently "forgot" to mention Arthur? That was 4 years after the freshman algebra drop. There may be some changes made but there is no proof until an independent trial of the evidence is conducted with opportunity for cross examination. Showing old grade books is not "proof". As noted above this breach of privacy by Ashford (who is no longer in the school district, nor the principal) is ethically questionable. Don't teachers care about the kids? He could make the allegations without naming Arthur and the same investigation would have ensued. It apears that Ashford mostly wants to retaliate and to be in the news.I am sad that across the country KU is being equated with last weeks sensationalism at USC with O.J. Mayo which is also unsubstantiated. The story by one person with an axe to grind does not make substantiation. Here is the link (from WFAA also) on the suspension:

ralsterKUMed95 13 years ago

VERYwell said, Strikewso: How can a grade-book that the one making the accusation wrote, be considered enough proof? The official transcript is exactly that--'official'. To seriously threaten its validity, an accusator would have to produce all of the submitted&graded&failing assignments and actual exam documents--how else can it be proven that Shady was ever actually failing????? REGARDLESS of if this is true or not, the victim is not only Darrell made to suffer now, but the unsuspecting Univ. of KS, and also the integrity of the NCAA Championship. Nothing should take away from the gallant contest between the nations true top 2 teams this past April 7th. Watching Memphis in the Final 4, and how they demolished Texas prior to UCLA, removed any doubts about their legitimacy. What a win for KU--nothing will tarnish those 45min of basketball!

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