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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA finds no cause for NCAA violations

    Chris Rogers
    Chris Rogers

    The UA found no evidence of NCAA violations in an academic fraud investigation involving the former head of the classics department, Alexander Nava, and men’s basketball senior guard Chris Rodgers.

    Arizona Athletics launched the investigation after Nava was accused April 10 of giving Rodgers preferential treatment in an independent-study class.

    “”Although there may not be evidence that time was put in (for the class), that is not a violation because we might just simply conclude that the professor under the circumstances would have given a failing grade to this particular student,”” said Provost George Davis.

    But Bill Morgan, the associate athletic director for compliance, and Doug Woodard, the faculty athletics representative, have launched an investigation to examine whether other student athletes are receiving preferential academic treatment as compared to the rest of the UA student body.

    The investigation may result in “”policy changes,”” according to Davis.

    Davis said he was concerned about the “”pattern of independent studies in the classics department and religious studies.””

    Nava had 27 independent-study students – a “”high number”” according to Davis – 12 of whom were student-athletes.

    “”It strikes me as unusual,”” Davis said of the raw number of independent-study students Nava had.

    Davis said he has one independent-study student and “”it would be hard to imagine multiplying that by 27.””

    “”Whether he will be a focus of the next investigation is not clear to me,”” Davis added.

    Davis said Jerry Hogle, the vice provost of instruction, will further investigate the academic integrity standards being applied to independent-study courses because they have a large impact on “”quite a number of student-athletes.””

    Davis said he hopes the investigation will conclude in mid-May, before faculty leaves for the summer.

    Hogle did not return phone calls by press time.

    Davis said the administrative investigation will find out “”how (professors) are approaching the supervision of independent studies,”” and determine “”what the fundamental arrangements are at the beginning of the semester in an independent study to determine the basis for the grades that are given.””

    Nava was accused of arranging a six-credit classics 599 independent-study course without appropriate authority and allowing Rodgers in without prerequisites.

    The investigation found that no such prerequisites existed and that although Nava never filled out the independent study form for Rodgers, an oral agreement was sufficient.

    Davis said not filling out the form did not meet guidelines but was not unusual. Independent study courses at the UA do not require prerequisites.

    Nava was also accused of “”imploring”” classics 554’s instructor, adjunct professor of classics Jeffrey Spier, to not administratively drop or fail Rodgers, who allegedly did not have prerequisites for the course either.

    The investigation found that no prerequisites were needed for the course and that Spier and Nava did have a conversation but Spier agreed that there was no “”attempt to pressure”” him to drop Rodgers. Spier stated that “”he never had any intention to drop or fail”” Rodgers and that “”it is the student’s responsibility to drop the class.””

    Nava and Rodgers did not return phone calls by press time.

    Nava resigned as the interim head of the classics department and was replaced by David Soren, a regents professor of classics and one of the people interviewed in the investigation.

    The Pacific 10 Conference and the NCAA can still investigate the matter if they are not satisfied with the UA’s investigation.

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