So it’s been 39 days since Kansas’ Mario Chalmers thrilled us all with his clutch three-pointer that sent the national title game into OT and crushed the foul-shooting-challenged Memphins Memphians Memphisers what the hell is it Memphis Tigers in the process. That’s just about enough time for our first scandal to arise!
Say It Isn’t So, Darrell!
WFAA.com in Dallas broke the story last night that Kansas forward Darrell Arthur may have been the recipient of a favorable grade change in his high school math class (Dallas South Oak Cliffs HS) that would otherwise have jeopardized his eligiblity (both at the prep and collegiate levels). The tale of the transcripts:
[T]ranscripts obtained by News 8 raise questions about whether he was actually making the grade in the classroom during his junior season, specifically in math. Transcripts show Arthur received no grades at all during his fall semester. His final grade was changed to a 70 in September 2005 without an explanation. If, in fact, Arthur had failed math that fall, he would not have been eligible to play basketball, and many of his team’s victories in that championship season might have to be forfeited, according to University Interscholastic League standards.
It gets worse, Jayhawk fans.
Former South Oak Cliff math teacher Winford Ashmore said Arthur had a history of trouble in math. He showed us his 2002 grade book for freshman math in which Arthur was making weekly failing grades: 45, 25 and 24. Ashmore said then-principal Donald Moten, and current head basketball coach James Mays Jr., both asked him to bypass the rules and award Arthur a passing grade. “Darrell was still failing, and was not making much of an effort in class, and was not coming to tutoring,” Ashmore said. “So at that point I ensured Moten — as well as James Mays Jr. — that Darrell Arthur was going to get an F for the six weeks.” Days later, without teacher approval, Arthur was dropped from Ashmore’s class. And despite those low grades, transcripts reflect Arthur received a passing grade of 70.
KU better start hoping that Ashmore (wasn’t he on Fresh Prince of Bel Air?) is a Texas fan with an active imagination. But credibility seems to lie on Ashmore’s side. Principal Moten recently resigned from his post at the high school in light of another grade-changing scandal involving a class subsequent to Arthur’s.
The Kansas blogs are strangely quiet on this so far this morning, but maybe they’re still in shock. We know we would be too. After all, if Arthur is retroactively found ineligible, their season could be officially relegated to the trashbin that 1993 Michigan and 1996 UMass find themselves. Except that it’s worse. 2008 Kansas was the national champion, in case you’d forgotten.
Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Dallas News