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Key players in FSU academic scandal

Players in the FSU academic scandal

The three people formerly in the Athletics Academic Support Services office:

Brenda Monk

Holder of a doctorate, she was hired as a learning specialist and an assistant director in 2001 and resigned July 5, 2007.

Allegation: She provided improper editing or typing for athletes she believed had learning disabilities, asked a men's basketball player to enter the answers to an online quiz in a psychology class on behalf of a teammate and helped athletes with the answers to online quizzes in a music class either directly or through a study guide she created.

Investigation: In an exclusive interview with the Times in October, Monk said she made a "mistake" in asking one player to key-in test answers for another who had left behind his test form, but she vehemently denied she had committed fraud. She cooperated fully with FSU and NCAA investigators, then, accompanied by her attorney, paid her own way to Indianapolis to appear before the Committee on Infractions.

NCAA finding: The committee found that Monk's "mistake'' did rise to the level of fraud. It found insufficient evidence that she edited papers, but typing constituted an impermissible extra benefit. As for the music class, the committee said the fraud was "facilitated by the flawed process for administering the course exams.''

Status: Now a principal at the Lake City Correctional Facility, Monk has notified FSU that she intends to sue for defamation. She will be seeking $600,000 for her loss of employment income and retirement benefits. The school hasn't yet replied.

Hillard Goldsmith III

A former track and field athlete who received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from FSU, he had been an academic adviser since March 2004. He worked with men's basketball and the men's and women's cross country/track and field programs before he resigned in the summer of 2007.

Allegation: That he told a tutor to provide quiz answers and instructed at least seven student-athletes to take their quizzes when he knew that particular tutor would be there.

Investigation: Goldsmith declined to cooperate with both school and NCAA investigators. The committee, which sent him a letter on Jan. 8 to offer him another chance to respond (he didn't), found that he not only committed academic fraud but that he also violated ethical conduct rules by refusing to help the investigation.

Status: He was "disassociated" from FSU and the athletics program for five years, until at least Aug. 31, 2013, for his lack of cooperation and his involvement in rules violations.

An unnamed tutor

Allegation: Once described as a "rogue" tutor by FSU president T.K. Wetherell, the graduate student (he has since completed his degree) was said to have helped 55 student-athletes with online quizzes in an online music course.

Investigation: He, like Monk, cooperated with investigators and, in one meeting, said Goldsmith "brought people to him" so he could help them on the tests, according to the case summary.

Status: He resigned in the summer of 2007.

Brian Landman, Times staff writer

Key players in FSU academic scandal 03/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 6, 2009 11:20pm]
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