University of Missouri

Mizzou met with NCAA in academic fraud case; former tutor plans to reveal more names

Yolanda Kumar has ignited an investigation into alleged academic fraud at Missouri. On Monday, she said she plans to release the names of those she claims were involved in the misconduct.
Yolanda Kumar has ignited an investigation into alleged academic fraud at Missouri. On Monday, she said she plans to release the names of those she claims were involved in the misconduct.

The whistleblower in the Missouri athletic department’s ongoing academic fraud case might soon release names of others involved.

Yolanda Kumar — a former tutor or Mizzou athletes who claims to have been “groomed” to help at least a dozen Tigers athletes commit academic fraud and triggered a NCAA investigation — sent off a series of tweets on Monday. Kumar announced that she plans to “release the full list of students, classes, and coordinators” on Wednesday at 1839, or 6:39 p.m. The University of Missouri was founded in 1839. She also tweeted that she will reveal “new allegations.”

“I have nothing to fear,” Kumar tweeted on her account, @Muslimgirl1973. “I am tired, I am broke, and FEARLESS.”

In late 2016, Kumar announced on her Facebook account that she committed academic fraud, and Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk announced his department had started an investigation hours later. Kumar previously told The Star she was particularly groomed to help football and men’s basketball players. When contacted by The Star on Monday, Kumar said she would only reveal information via her Twitter account.

Kumar tweeted on Monday that after she refused to sign a confidentiality agreement “around” Aug. 12, 2017, she was subsequently dropped from the NCAA’s notice of allegations. But in a later tweet, she wrote that the Mizzou athletic department met with the NCAA in June and she has been renamed in the notice of allegations. She wrote that she still refuses to sign a confidentiality agreement.

On Monday evening, in response to Kumar’s series of tweets, department spokesperson Nick Joos sent a statement that confirmed Mizzou met with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on June 13, and “the Committee has since added a previously unnamed involved party and given notice of the Committee’s allegation to that individual,” according to the statement.

“While the University may not disclose the names of any involved student due to FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), we remain confident that this review will reveal that the University, as well as its student-athletes and staff, have shown great integrity in responding to the allegations raised,” continued the statement, which mentioned that more than 50 people have been interviewed as part of the investigation.

“In order to protect the investigation’s integrity and in accordance with NCAA rules relative to ongoing investigations, we are unable to comment further any part of the process until it is completed.”

In April 2018, Kumar, who once offered to sell details about this academic fraud case, tweeted a photo of a letter Sterk sent her. The letter — which was a procedural step in the investigation and was dated April 19 — confirmed that Kumar “provided impermissible academic benefits to enrolled student-athletes.” The letter also told Kumar she could no longer be associated with the MU athletic department.

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

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