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This is the spoor of an educational system gone mad: Nov. 15, 1979: Eight Arizona State football players were declared ineligible because they received credit for an extension course, Remediation of Reading, Mathematics and Language for the Exceptional Child, taught during the summer of 1979 in Gardena, Calif. under the auspices of Rocky Mountain College of Billings, Mont. The players neither attended any classes in the course nor completed any of the work required. Arizona State forfeited the five victories in which the eight had participated and Athletic Director Dr. Fred Miller was subsequently fired.
Nov. 19: The NCAA informed San Jose State that a Spartan football player, senior Guard Steve Hart, might be academically ineligible. San Jose investigated the allegation and found that Hart had, indeed, claimed credit falsely for two courses in the Rocky Mountain program. San Jose, the PCAA co-champion, forfeited two victories, a tie and the conference title.
Nov. 30: New Mexico Basketball Coach Norm Ellenberger and Assistant Coach Manny Goldstein were suspended after an Albuquerque Police Department wiretap revealed that, with Ellenberger's consent, Goldstein had arranged for Guard Craig Gilbert, a junior-college transfer, to receive phony credits through Oxnard ( Calif.) College. A federal grand jury subsequently indicted Ellenberger on multiple counts of fraud relating to the alleged doctoring of academic transcripts.
Dec. 4: Twenty-eight athletes at the University of Southern California, including 19 players on USC's Rose Bowl-bound football team, were found to be enrolled in—but not attending—Speech Communications 380, a course supposedly open only to members of the debating team. The speech instructor resigned; the athletic department's academic coordinator was suspended; and the athletes were given a five-day "crash course." After the university reviewed the work done in the crash course, 26 of the athletes were ordered to take a second makeup, "because," said USC President John R. Hubbard, "of irregularities discovered in the conduct of the first makeup." Among the irregularities was the submission by some student-athletes of work that was not their own.
Dec. 6: Five New Mexico basketball players were declared ineligible for having received three hours of credit for an extension course—Current Problems and Principles of Coaching Athletics, administered by Ottawa ( Kans.) University and taught during the summer of 79 in Sepulveda, Calif.—which they never attended. A sixth player, who claimed to have actually taken the course, was suspended.
Dec. 22: Immediately before the University of Utah basketball team's 71-69 upset of national champion-to-be Louisville, Coach Jerry Pimm was informed by Dr. R. J. Snow, the school's vice-president, that the Utes' star forward, Danny Vranes, had received credit for the Ottawa University extension course in Sepulveda. Despite Vranes' assertion that he had been given permission to take the course by correspondence and to not attend any classes, Utah ruled Vranes ineligible.
Dec. 24: Oregon State University announced that football player Leroy Edwards, who had taken the Ottawa extension course but never claimed credit for it, was still found to be ineligible because he had failed in a summer course in general biology at Central Florida Community College in Ocala. Oregon State had one win to forfeit.
Jan. 17, 1980: California State Polytechnic at Pomona announced that it had volunteered to forfeit all three of its football victories and offered to do the same with its 16 dual-meet cross-country wins after two athletes—runner Mark Turner and Defensive Back Henry Wilson—admitted to having received credit for classes they never attended in the Rocky Mountain College extension course. Further investigation revealed that Reserve Center Kenneth Barrance, a Cal Poly basketball player, was also academically ineligible. He, too, had never attended the Rocky Mountain course for which he had been registered. Cal Poly thus forfeited eight basketball victories as well.
Jan. 23: Dr. Arthur G. Hansen, president of Purdue, announced that the university had suspended Defensive Back David Anthony Hill because records submitted to Purdue before Hill transferred there from Pasadena City College gave him credit for courses that he acknowledged he had never attended, namely, the Rocky Mountain course and others offered by Pacific Christian Junior College in Fullerton, Calif.
Feb. 14: University of Oregon President William B. Boyd announced that seven Oregon student-athletes were known to have received credit for courses for which they did no work. Four football players had received unearned credit for the Ottawa University extension course, two swimmers had received unearned credit from Pacific Christian College and Derrick Dale, a former linebacker, had earned instant eligibility in the early fall of 1978 by "taking," as independent study, a jogging course at nearby Lane Community College. Dale was credited for running he had already done in football practice. Boyd fined the head football coach, four of his assistants and the swimming coach more than $9,000 for their involvement in the scheme.