Originally published June 2, 2009 at 01:01p.m., updated June 2, 2009 at 03:34p.m.

Memphis finds no proof former player cheated


— Memphis says it should keep the victories from the 2007-08 season which ended in the national title game after an internal investigation turned up no proof that a former men's basketball player cheated on his SAT exam.

"Certainly, the University of Memphis should not suffer a financial penalty or vacation of records for the 2008 NCAA tournament as a result of this allegation," according to a report detailing the school's investigation into NCAA allegations.

The report, released to The Associated Press and other news outlets Tuesday under a public records request, details Memphis' internal probe into accusations that a former player allowed a stand-in to take his SAT. The report also looked into charges of grade tampering on behalf of the player.

Most names in the report were redacted by the school because of privacy concerns, but an attorney for former Memphis star Derrick Rose has acknowledged that Rose cooperated with an investigation of similar allegations while still a student.

Rose, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft and the rookie of the year, was the point guard for the Memphis team that lost to Kansas in the title game.

School officials argue that even if the NCAA's Committee on Infractions believes a former player cheated, the program should not be penalized because the school was unaware of any wrongdoing.

"At this point, there is not sufficient evidence on which to conclude that (the player) knew or should have known that he was ineligible at the time of his participation in the NCAA championship," the report says.

Memphis will present its findings to the Committee on Infractions on Saturday in Indianapolis. Former coach John Calipari, now with Kentucky, is expected to participate by phone.

The report released Tuesday says school officials have encouraged the player — whose name was blacked out — to cooperate with the NCAA investigation, but his "consistent response" is that he took the test and he already answered the same questions in 2007.

Rose's attorney, Daniel E. Reidy, did not immediately return a message left Tuesday at his office.

The report also says the school had no proof the SAT was fraudulent until notified by the Educational Testing Service that the player's score had been canceled. That letter came May 5, 2008, after Rose's only season at Memphis.

When asked directly about the tests he was reported to have taken, the report says the player responded that he took each of them himself. The player "did not pursue any of the opportunities made available to him by ETS to attempt to validate his scores. The first notice of these opportunities was sent very late in the basketball season. ... At this point, there is not sufficient evidence on which to conclude that he knew or should have known that he was ineligible at the time of his participation in the NCAA championship.

"The university ... took all reasonable steps to confirm that (name redacted) had met eligibility requirements," the report states.

Memphis officials first began to look into the player's test score in October 2007 when a public school employee in the player's home city contacted the university about possible grade tampering.

The school says the only proof of a fraudulent test score comes from a forensic document examiner hired by the NCAA to look at the player's handwriting samples. She was only able to say that the player's handwriting "probably" did not match the handwriting on the test. The university says the expert's conclusion is not strong enough to prove the player knowingly cheated on the exam.

Athletic director R.C. Johnson declined to speak with The Associated Press through a spokeswoman. He has said the school checks out potentials athletes, but has refused to detail such efforts.

Kentucky officials were aware of the allegations when they hired Calipari and believe the coach was open and honest about the situation. Johnson interviewed several high-profile coaches when Calipari left, but couldn't lure them to Memphis. So he turned to 31-year-old Calipari assistant Josh Pastner.

Pastner, who has said he knew nothing about the investigation before being hired, was excused from participation because of a previous commitment.

NCAA officials notified Memphis on Jan. 16 of the "knowing fraudulence or misconduct" that occurred in 2007-08. The Tigers won 38 games that season and were the national runnerup.

Calipari, who left Memphis and signed an 8-year, $31.65 million contract with Kentucky on March 31, has been assured by the NCAA that he is not under investigation.


quill_46 11 years ago

of course they wont find anything,because they dont want to find anything. get over it Rose cheated and he knows he did.

Ervin O'Neal 11 years ago

OJ didn't find any proof where he had done anything wrong either.

Not that it makes any difference, but I still find it hard to believe that the school was informed of the investigation on 1/16 and Pastner was unaware of it when he accepted the job in April.

Jaminrawk 11 years ago

"Um, yeah ... nothing here. Let's go home, nothing to see folks ..."

100 11 years ago

There actually is a lot to see as far as the NCAA is concerned.

It's about the intent of Calipari past May 5th.

  1. How did Calipari use Rose's name in conversations with future recruits after May 5th?

  2. The NCAA would then talk to players (some of whom were tied to $ man Worldwide) such as Tyreke Evans, Cousins & John Wall.

  3. The NCAA would then have to look back at past interviews with guys like Evans. "I came here because Cal told me he could do the same thing for me he did for Derrick".

Lots & lots of details for the NCAA to begin sifting through with CaimariGate. The point is, he Calipari (at the LATEST) knew about Rose cheating by May 5th, how did he (or did he not) filter what he said to recruits?

This is also (now) more than ever an NCAA query into a man who used an ineligible player's image to get a $25 million payraise & left a school, knowing probation was on the horizon, worse yet, TAKING their prize recruits, all in the name of an ineligible 18 year old kid!!!

RockChalkGuy 11 years ago

Am I the only one who seems to think this would be easy to prove or disprove. I can't imagine anyone in this country (who has two hands) being able to take an SAT and not get fingerprints all over the test. This should be a slam dunk. (pun intended)

Chicago_JHawk 11 years ago

We Jayhawk fans sure sang a different tune when it was Darrell Arthur on the potential hotseat for something that may or may not have happened while he was in high school! A hypocritical bunch, we are...

kc_wildfire 11 years ago


I was going to say the exact same thing. People react very differently when the shoe is on the other foot.

KU1992 11 years ago

Except this isn't like Darrell Arthur's case at all...

Carter Patterson 11 years ago

Help me guys understand this....

The NCAA has a clearinghouse. If Rose passed the clearinghouse and Memphis had no internal knowledge of any wrong doing, then Memphis should not get into any trouble.

That's the purpose of the clearinghouse.

Am I wrong?

Chicago_JHawk 11 years ago


How is this not like Arthur's case?

The question is whether or not Memphis should be held liable for something that may have illegally affected Rose's eligibility before he set foot on campus and that they knew nothing about. Same thing...Rose, like Arthur, was cleared by the NCAA to compete. Why should Memphis be punished?

Marcia Parsons 11 years ago

It seems to me the difference is this: No one knows whether DA even knew his grade had been changed (or whether it actually was) when he ws a junior. He successfully completed his work and graduated the next year and passed his SAT. In Rose's case, you would have to think that if he had someone take the SAT for him, Rose was aware of it.

Chicago_JHawk 11 years ago

That is true, oldalum, but to me the issue is whether Memphis should be held accountable. Rose is long gone, and the current team shouldn't suffer for his selfishness.

tis4tim 11 years ago

What I would like to know is how someone becomes a "stand-in" SAT test taker. How does one apply for or get approached for that job?

Seriously, though. It's been a long time since I took that test, but I remember being in a huge gymnasium with lots of other people. I had to provide multiple forms of ID when checking in. How does someone pass themselves off as a very prominent athlete without raising any suspicions? It has to be pretty obvious that a body either is or is not Derrick Rose at check-in time. Perhaps athletes take the exam in private? Just wondering.

Joe Baker 11 years ago

Ladies and Gentlemen our Feature Presentation:

The Untouchables-

Starring: John "Can't Touch This" Calasleazy and Derrick "the Cheater" Rose

Stay tuned for the sequel !!

Brought to you by the UK studios and Produced by the NCAA!!

This will definite be an oscar performance by "Can't Touch This"!!

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

Chicago J Hawk: I agree with you. The situation between Rose and the 3 other Simien players who supposedly cheates is similar, but not exactly the same as Arthur's. However, in either situation the instituitions are trying to be punished and I don't think that is exactly fair. It's whether or not their was intent and how much everybody else knew. I agree with you about the Arthur case.

KANSTUCKY 11 years ago

Memphis already got what they deserved and so has UK. These off shades of blue are fading fast.

100 10 years, 12 months ago

That's fine. Memphis says it didn't know.

Katz on ESPN says it was highly unlikely Rose & Calipari didn't know.

The SAT examiners have confirmed Rose's test was not taken by him.

So the question at this point is not whether or not to vacate the wins.

The question is why did Calipari leave knowing this story was going to explode & embarrass his new Memphis Tiger fans?

The biggest question is still: what did Calipari say to future recruits about Rose (because unless we're stupid this surely came up quite often with future recruits)

A May 17, 2008 Example: "You want evidence I can help you at Tyreke? Look what I did for Derrick Rose!"

Or more recently, April 3, 2009: "John Wall I don't know what else I need to do besides pay your brother $2,260 to play for me at Memphis! Ha ha just kidding John. Anyway, just look what I did for Derrick Rose! He came here & went to the NBA in one year because of me!"

Eurekahwk 10 years, 12 months ago

So did Rose even go to class the second semester, or did he take on-line classes which are subject to the most stringent guidelines, I'm sure.

This just in, Rose and Beasley were student athletes except for the student part.

But I guess with a player on our roster who had friendly teachers help him skirt the curriculum in HS, who are we to talk?

Unfortunately for someone, I'm not sure who, this is a common story. Its just that the big dogs who are long term viable cash cows don't get hit. If Cal had stayed at Memphis and continued to churn that money, we don't even hear about this. And now that he is at UK, he is out of the doghouse. And Memphis is the goat.

No, Cal won't feel any wrath because NCAA is salivating over the ratings bonanza of Kansas vs UK in the championship.

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