ST. LOUIS, MO- Nearly a year and a half after a tutor said she took classes for University of Missouri student-athletes and was involved with other forms of academic dishonesty, the school confirms an investigation has found evidence of impermissible academic benefits.
Yolanda Kumar said in November 2016 her behavior was encouraged by academic coordinators in the athletic department. A letter Kumar received from Athletic Director Jim Sterk this month doesn’t confirm that claim but does say its investigation “has revealed, and you acknowledged during your interview with the NCAA, that you provided impermissible academic benefits to enrolled student-athletes. Such conduct is contrary to NCAA rules. Moreover, such conduct is is a serious violation of academic integrity standards of the University of Missouri, and the antithesis of our core values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.”
Kumar spoke to school and NCAA investigators in January 2017.
A university spokesman confirmed the letter to FOX2 and said there’s hope the investigation would be wrapped up by the end of the summer, but declined further comment.
The letter also served notice that the school was formally disassociating itself from Kumar, who resigned her position soon after she made the allegations. Among other things, disassociation bars access to student-athletes, coaches, staff, and bans department members from communicating with her on athletic matters.
Disassociation is a step institutions have taken on their own as a self-imposed punishment, or is handed down by the NCAA as a sanction for rules violations.
The NCAA did not return a message seeking comment.