University of Missouri

Mizzou hires attorney to investigate academic fraud claims by former athletic tutor

Yolanda Kumar was a tutor for MU’s Total Person Program, which is tasked with tutoring student-athletes.
Yolanda Kumar was a tutor for MU’s Total Person Program, which is tasked with tutoring student-athletes. Twitter photo

The University of Missouri has retained the services of prominent college sports attorney Mike Glazier to assist with its ongoing investigation into allegations of academic fraud brought by a former tutor in the Total Person Program.

Glazier — a managing member of the Overland Park-based law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King — is “the founder and chair of the firm’s college sports practice,” according to his bio on the firm’s website.

He is leading Mizzou’s joint investigation with the NCAA into former tutor Yolanda Kumar’s allegations that she performed or assisted with coursework for 15 student-athletes during a 16-month period, according to a Nov. 21 letter from interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley to Glazier obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Glazier, who specializes in NCAA infractions, eligibility and compliance matters and worked seven years as an attorney for the NCAA, also handled MU’s joint investigation into impermissible-benefits infractions within the men’s basketball program.

That case, which was announced by the university in January 2016 and centered on a sham internship program in Georgia, resulted in a variety of self-imposed sanctions, including a postseason ban last year and scholarship reductions for the Tigers men’s basketball team.

The NCAA accepted MU’s self-imposed sanctions in August, though the Division I Committee on Infractions added one year of probation for the men’s basketball program.

Missouri announced an investigation into possible academic fraud Nov. 22 after Kumar tweeted about her involvement a few weeks after telling the school’s compliance staff she had taken online classes and tests for several Tigers student-athletes or assisted with tests in violation of NCAA rules.

The current investigation into Kumar’s academic fraud allegations could last several years, a source told The Star, depending on how cooperative witnesses are with the NCAA and Mizzou.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer