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Auburn hires law firm to investigate academic misconduct allegations

12 October 2017

According to an ESPN report Wednesday, the school hired the firm to look into allegations that a part-time academic support staff member took a final exam for at least one football player from last season's team.

ESPN's report does not identify any sources involved in the academic fraud allegation involving a tutor and at least one Auburn football player.

Another tutor who was reviewing the student athlete's academic records noticed the player had a flawless grade on the final exam even when the player had told the tutor that he had not taken the exam, ESPN's source said.

For the third time since August, Auburn has retained the services of Birmingham-based law firm Lightfoot, Franklin and White to conduct an investigation regarding the school's athletic programs.

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An athletic department spokesman said in a statement that there was no academic fraud, calling the allegations "false".

"It's simply not true", the statement read. The tutor has been placed on administrative leave since August 31, but the school says that is due to a dispute with a co-worker. She is making claims not supported by facts, and based on what ESPN told us, she keeps changing her story.

The spokesperson said the accuser signed 38 bimonthly time sheets and compliance forms during her part-time employment, which stated that she had no knowledge of and has not witnessed or assisted in a student-athlete participating in academic dishonesty.

One of them is the Federal investigation into bribery that has swept up multiple college basketball coaches including now assistant and Tigers alum Chuck Person. It's the same law firm that Auburn hired to investigate both the softball and men's basketball programs in the past two months.

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University president Steven Leath also issued a statement saying the independent investigators have failed to find evidence that indicates the allegations have credibility.

The softball investigation involved allegations that former assistant coach Corey Myers behaved inappropriately with players.

Person was suspended indefinitely without pay and remains away from the program.

On Sept. 29, a report from AL.com claimed that Leath and Auburn's board of trustees had begun laying plans to remove athletic director Jay Jacobs from the position he has held since December 22, 2004.

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Auburn hires law firm to investigate academic misconduct allegations