University of Missouri

Mizzou AD's letter: Investigation found former tutor's academic fraud claims were true

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk
Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk recently sent a letter to Yolanda Kumar, a former tutor for the athletic department, that indicates her claims of academic fraud made in 2016 were true.

The letter, which was written on April 19, was posted on Twitter by Kumar two days ago with the comment, "local mail is so slow," followed by the hashtags of cool, showme and mizzou.

In November 2016, Kumar told The Star she helped more than a dozen Mizzou student-athletes commit varying degrees of academic fraud. The revelations led to an NCAA investigation, which is ongoing and could be completed by this summer. Since coming forward, Kumar has taken to social media to explain her reasoning for helping athletes and cheat and even offered to sell evidence to help pay her bills.

In the letter, Sterk said the school's investigation showed that Kumar, "provided impermissible academic benefits to enrolled student-athletes," which is a serious violation of the university's standards for academic integrity.

Sterk also said that the letter was a notice to Kumar that she could no longer be associated with the athletics program. Kumar was a tutor for Missouri's Total Person Program for six years. She said she mainly helped out football and basketball players with their schoolwork, but said last year she helped athletes in all sports.

Former Missouri defensive lineman A.J. Logan served a six-game suspension last season and remains the only known MU athlete to serve a suspension because of the investigation.

The letter was copied to university chancellor Alexander Cartwright, university counsel Steve Owens, faculty athletics representative Pamela Hinton and associate ADs for compliance Mary Austin and Mitzi Clayton.

Missouri originally opened an investigation into Kumar's claims on Nov. 22, 2016 after she took to Facebook to post that she was forced by her bosses to commit what she called "academic dishonesty."

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