Texas Authorizes Independent Review of Allegations

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    Rick-BarnesTexas, the former employer of current Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes, is looking further into the cheating allegations brought forth by The Chronicle of Higher Education in a report last week.

    Texas President Greg Fenves told the American-Statesman on Monday that he has authorized “an independent review of the academic services offered by the athletic department.” The review will be conducted by Gene Marsh, who was a member of the NCAA’s Division I Infractions Committee from 1999-2008.

    And while Marsh will be looking into all aspects of the program, according to the report, he’s already begun looking into the specific allegations made in The Chronicle of Higher Education that named former Texas basketball players P.J. Tucker, J’Covan Brown and Martez Walker.

    President Fenves and Texas have gone on record saying that they are not aware of any wrongdoing by Barnes or the athletic department in those cases.

    “We take every allegation seriously, and we are looking into that,” Fenves told the American-Statesman. “We felt Gene Marsh will get to the bottom of it, but at this point, I have no concerns that there were improprieties. It’s prudent and responsible to look at them in depth.”

    The Vols hired Barnes just days after firing former coach Donnie Tyndall in the midst of an NCAA investigation surrounding his time at Southern Mississippi.

    Tennessee AD Dave Hart released a statement on June 10 in support of Barnes after The Chronicle’s report came out on June. 10:

    “Obviously we can’t talk about what happened in the past at another university, however as stated clearly by the University of Texas, ghe university has no information that suggests former men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes knew of or was involved in any academic improprieties. Coach Barnes has a sterling reputation as a person of very high ethical standards at every institution he has represented and we are excited to have him lead our men’s basketball program.”