Chronicle / SI report on NCAA fixer fingers Ducks for academic fraud

Brad Wolverton has the report in the Chronicle, well worth reading it all:

… According to a former NCAA investigator who was familiar with the case, five universities—Liberty, Morgan State, Oregon, South Florida, and Xavier of Ohio—faced questions about players with whom Mr. White had worked.

… Mr. White’s first client, who was being recruited by top Division I programs, was having trouble with an online mathematics class. Mr. White says he spent several days with the player, completing homework assignments and quizzes for an independent-study class at Brigham Young University.

They finished about half the course that week, Mr. White says. He wrote down the player’s online log-in and password, and completed the rest by himself.

The setup was so simple, Mr. White decided to use it again. Later that season he helped many of his own players pick up easy BYU credits. He began to wonder: If he could do this for one team, why not more?

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6 Responses to Chronicle / SI report on NCAA fixer fingers Ducks for academic fraud

  1. If you Google, “Pay someone to take an online class”, you can see that this kind of cheating has pushed out the paper mills of the past as the dominant form of academic fraud.

    I’ve personally met several individuals who work in this black market for additional income. Normally, the people who are paid to take the classes are fairly smart people who have barriers to employment (drug use, criminal records, lack of transportation/driver’s license) and look at this as a relatively easy and good source of extra income (in addition to working in fast food).

    But, my experience is that the vast majority of the cheaters are not athletes (most of whom couldn’t afford the service), but rather it is International students. At Oregon, this is mostly wealthy Chinese and Saudi students who don’t feel like taking intro classes or other non-core requirements.

    I’m not sure people are aware of this burgeoning cottage industry, so I’m glad you are drawing attention to it.

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    • Fishwrapper says:

      I’d suggest not pointing the googles at that phrase – at least not from any campus computers. Searches and their originating IP addresses are stored for various durations in various locations. It would be a shame for any kind of audit of computer traffic to show this kind of activity occurring frequently across the UNike campus…

      On the other hand, Hayduke Lives!

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      • Cynic says:

        The best practice online courses on campus use secure testing sites with ID procedures in place. Of course no one looking to cheat will not use a best practice course.

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        • cynic says:

          apologies for the double negative in the post above. I’ll blame it on scotch.

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      • Youngin' says:

        Unless your “campus computer” has spyware I’m not sure of the threat model here. Your connection google should be using SSL/TLS. And while fundamental design flaws make breaking SSL is within the capability of state level attackers, I wouldn’t go about attributing NSA levels of competence to the UO administration…

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  2. Trond Jacobsen says:

    The word “Oregon” appears once in this article.

    Those who read the article will discover there is not a single detail – not a name, not a student, not a class, not a team, not a time period – regarding Oregon reported in the article.

    By concatenating passages describing fraud at other schools you create in this post the (mis)impression that the Chronicle article “fingers” Oregon for these activities.

    This article does no such thing.

    The sentence following the single paragraph bearing the term “Oregon” reads:

    “Several of the universities stopped recruiting or denied enrollment to certain players with connections to Mr. White”.

    Why not quote that passage or consider whether it might be true at Oregon, especially given the utter lack of detail presented related to the university?

    My understanding is that Oregon’s compliance officer reported White to the NCAA, prompting the investigation.

    This strikes me as very sloppy.

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