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Auburn Is Under Scrutiny

From the Associated Press

Carnell “Cadillac” Williams and other Auburn athletes received high grades from the same professor for sociology and criminology courses that didn’t require them to attend classes or do much work, the New York Times reported.

Williams, who now plays for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, told the newspaper the only two classes he took the spring semester of his senior year were one-on-one courses with Professor Thomas Petee, the sociology department’s highest-ranking member.

The Times reported that 18 members of the 2004 football team -- a team that went undefeated and finished No. 2 in the nation -- took a combined 97 hours of the courses during their careers. The newspaper said the offerings resemble independent study and include subjects as statistics, theory and methods, which normally require class instruction.

“Academic integrity is at the foundation of every university,” Auburn Provost John Heilman said in a statement. “In May, a complaint was made ... alleging that a single professor gave grades to student athletes for courses that required little or no work. The Office of the Provost takes any concern related to academic processes at the university seriously. As a result, on June 5, I appointed a committee to investigate the anonymous claim.”

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The report will be made public when the investigation is complete.

The New York Times, citing records compiled by Professor James Gundlach, the director of the Auburn sociology department who reports to Petee, reported one athlete took seven courses with Petee, three took six, five took five and eight took four. Former defensive end Doug Langenfeld told the newspaper a directed-reading course with Petee required he read one book and write a 10-page paper. “I got a ‘B’ in the class,” he said.


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