Auburn Hires Law Firm to Investigate Allegations of Academic Fraud

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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Auburn has hired a law firm to review allegations that a part-time academic staffer took an online test for a football player.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported Wednesday that a mentor took the final exam for a player from the 2015 team. An Auburn spokesman confirmed that the university has hired Birmingham law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White to look into the allegation.

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President Steven Leath said in a statement that an independent investigation hasn’t found any evidence supporting the allegations, but that he is “actively engaged as the investigation continues.” An athletic department statement says the player had returned to school to complete his degree and denies the allegation.

The Birmingham law firm is already looking into the softball and men’s basketball programs for unrelated issues.

Auburn said the part-time staffer who reported the allegation was placed on administrative leave in August.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.