RI Connection To Harvard Cheating Scandal?
Monday, September 17, 2012
It’s Harvard week for the Brown University football team which is always exciting.
Brown students and alumni alike seem to care more about this game than any other on the Bears’ schedule each year as it is always the most attended game of the season.
And while this year’s game which features a pair of (1-0) teams should be very exciting, there’s a side story that will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation for those involved with the game.
It was revealed last week that Harvard University was dealing with a cheating scandal at the school where a reported 125 students are being investigated for plagiarism on a take-home final exam. Many of the 125 are reportedly student-athletes at the school. And, while the University will cannot release any names of those involved, multiple reports claim that men’s basketball stars Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry are two student-athletes who have allegedly been implicated in the scandal.
Some of those reports claim that a dozen Harvard football players may be part of the 125, a fact not confirmed by head football coach Tim Murphy or University officials.
However, a few reports from those media outlets which covered Harvard’s season-opening win against San Diego claim that one of the football players who may be involved in the cheating scandal is Barrington, Rhode Island native Matt Brown.
Brown is a two-sport athlete at Harvard playing for both the football and men’s basketball programs. He played in 10 games for the Crimson football team last year hauling in 7 receptions for 113 yards and 1 touchdown.
It was believed that Brown would have a more expanded role on this year’s team but he was not seen in uniform Saturday at Harvard Stadium. Crimson coach Tim Murphy was asked about his absence to which he responded, “not able to talk about kids who are not here.”
Harvard’s Sports Information Director in charge of football Kurt Svoboda noted to the media that the team’s roster had not been altered which is, in fact, the case.
Brown was listed on the team’s roster as #13 in the team’s game notes for the San Diego game. And, as of the time this story was published Monday morning, he was still listed on the team’s website at gocrimson.com. It should also be noted that Brown, Casey and Curry are still listed on the men's basketball roster on the school's website as well. That seems curious given that Casey and Curry have withdrawn from school.
The son of former Friar men’s basketball player Donnie Brown, Matt Brown attended Barrington High School as a freshman before attending prep school at Northfield Mount Hermon.
If Brown has been implicated in the cheating scandal, he may very well have followed in the footsteps of Casey and Curry, both of whom withdrew from school prior to last Wednesday’s enrollment deadline. That move could give him the chance to retain two years of eligibility should he be found guilty of academic dishonesty which could carry a one-year suspension from school.
The name of the course where the students are being investigated for academic dishonesty is: Government 1310 – Introduction to Congress. The class was held in the spring of 2012 and had an enrollment of 279 students. Of those 279, as many as 125 are supposedly being called into question. And the Boston Globe reports that about half of them could be student-athletes. The Harvard Crimson reported that the same typo and similar phrasing was found in multiple exams which led to the investigation.
Depending upon the outcome of the investigation, it will be interesting to see what the ramifications will be for those implicated. A one-year suspension from Harvard seems to be what most believe will be the punishment. At the very least, a failing grade on that exam would seem appropriate.
In the meantime, it’s Harvard week here in Providence. Portable lights will be erected at Brown Stadium for the game on Saturday which will be nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network beginning at 4:30pm.
Brown students will likely have something clever to do or say regarding the cheating scandal. But the focus will ultimately be on the game which has the makings of a great one between two of the best football programs in the Ivy League.