University of Tennessee officials were smacked again last week with another NCAA probe into UT athletics. This latest accusation is from an old adversary, Linda Bensel-Myers. Myers was involved in bringing out the disparity in tutors she alleged were writing papers for students athletes.
She says athletes were given multiple chances to pass classes and given incompletes to keep from having failing grades on their permanent transcripts. Myers even pointed out one dyslexic student football player and made him example number one. Ms. Bensel-Myers has learned her lesson two-fold before claiming new charges against UT athletics. She enlisted the help of another person and has with-held the names of the athletes in question this time.
Bensel-Myers has help this time from an unlikely source, a former athletics department member. Bob Gilbert, former director of UT’s news operations is on her side and says “this disgraces the place I received my degree from if I allow this to continue without addressing it.” He has dozens of recors and transcripts (with names blacked out to protect the athlete identity as per the Buckley Amendment requirement). The alleged problems occurred in 1995 through 1998, when athletes were given incompletes and allowed to make up failing grades by re-taking the course a second time.
Investigator Bill Seivers from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) met Thursday in Maryville with Bensel-Myers and Gilbert for several hours to peruse the documents alleging everything for grade changing to academic fraud. Some say the entire event was kicked off last week when Maryville resident and outgoing SEC commissioner Roy Kramer was taken to task by Gilbert in the local Maryville newspaper for not being harsher on Tennessee.
He also used the article to produce evidence he said the SEC nor the NCAA had seen before indicating academic irregularities by UT.
On Friday the Knoxville News Sentinel quoted Gilbert as saying about Seivers “we talked and he took notes and he has copies of everything I had. He was very thorough and professional.” Several schools have complained over the past few years of Kramer playing favorites toward Tennessee by virtue of being a resident.
The latest calling out was the last straw, and Kramer felt obliged to send his right-hand man, Seivers, to investigate. Gilbert stated last week he was treated badly and yelled at by Kramer when the allegations came to light. The NCAA and SEC are looking into the matters and will be either launching another investigation or shooting down yet another disgruntled former UT employee.
An investigation could take several weeks or months depending on how far reaching the NCAA or SEC offices determine irregularities to be and whether this is any different than what normal students are afforded at University of Tennessee.

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