Following cheating allegations, Fenves launches independent review of athletics department

Aaron Torres

UT President Greg Fenves launched an independent review to look into academic allegations against UT’s athletic program, according to an article in the Austin American-Statesman on Monday.

The review comes a couple of days after the Chronicle of Higher Education released a report citing academic misconduct by former UT basketball player Martez Walker that former UT instructor Pamela G. Powell then reported to the athletics advising staff.

The article from the Chronicle of Higher education also named former players J'Covan Brown and P.J. Tucker as having engaged in academic misconduct while at UT. 

Fenves told the Statesman that he is not concerned about the accusations the Chronicle made.

“We take every allegation seriously, and we are looking into that,” Fenves said. “We felt Gene Marsh will get to the bottom of it, but at this point, I have no concerns there were improprieties. It’s prudent and responsible to look at them in depth.”

Gene Marsh, who served as the chairman of the NCAA’s Division I infractions committee from 20042006 and was a member from 19992008, is in charge of overseeing the review and will submit a “final, public report.”

“We have a very storied athletic program, a long tradition of integrity. The motto has been winning with integrity,” Fenves told the Statesman late Monday. “As a new president with all the issues going around collegiate athletics in general, coming into the position, I want to have an independent study of our programs to make sure we’re doing everything we should be.”

According to a UT news release, Marsh’s review will be a “thorough examination” of all procedures and policies that impact the student-athlete’s experience “from when they are recruited until after they have left the university.”

It will include, but is not limited to, the athletic department’s admissions process, academic advising and tutorial assistance, according to the Statesman.

Correction: In an earlier version of this article, we mischaracterized Powell's culpability in the alleged misconduct, cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education's story. The article has since been updated. We deeply regret the error.