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Brittian’s fraud has NCAA looking at USF

The USF Athletics Department received a jolt from the NCAA Thursday.

The NCAA Enforcement Staff mailed a letter of preliminary inquiry to the department about the academic fraud charges against former men’s basketball player Greg Brittian, USF Athletics Director Lee Roy Selmon said Thursday.

An investigation done by the department last fall found that Brittian was in violation of an NCAA bylaw. According to the investigation done by Steven Horton, USF associate director of athletics in charge of compliance, Brittian turned in a research paper that he didn’t write for a class during the summer semester.

It stated that Brittian had little knowledge of the paper and a pair of athletic department developmental assistants contributed to the completion of the paper.

“It is disturbing whenever there is an NCAA violation,” USF President Judy Genshaft said. “We fully support the NCAA’s efforts to raise conscientiousness about academic integrity. The University of South Florida is committed to academic integrity, whether it is in the athletic department or any department. We have no tolerance for academic fraud.

“That is why Mr. Selmon took immediate action and suspended the student from the team when he first learned of this infraction. It may not have been the easy thing to do, but it was the responsible thing to do. He also reported it to the NCAA, as we are required to do.”

The NCAA is planning a visit to the campus in the next several weeks to interview and determine if the matter merits any further investigation. The NCAA will finish the investigation by June 1.

After the charges surfaced, Brittian was declared ineligible for the 2002-03 basketball season. Brittian remained on scholarship despite his ineligibility.

“We have full confidence in the manner in which we conducted our internal review of this matter,” Selmon said. “We believe this to be an isolated case, and our academic support and compliance staffs remain diligent in monitoring our student-athletes.

“We will be fully cooperative with the NCAA, and we are confident they will be satisfied with the manner in which we handled the situation.”