Yolanda Kumar, former math tutor at the University of Missouri, had triggered an investigation by the National College Athletic Association into “academic fraud” after revealing she allegedly helped student-athletes cheat.
Kumar told the Kansas City Star in an interview that she has documented at least “a dozen instances of serious academic fraud” involving both male and female athletes during 16 months.
The whistleblower worked as part of Mizzou’s Total Person Program intermittently for a period of six years. During that time, she claims, she felt pressured “to keep athletes academically eligible,” especially football and men’s basketball players.
She allegedly completed entire courses for them and took tests and exams.
“I think about what I’ve done and I cry, not because I’m sad or I’m weak,” Kumar said, “but because I’m so angry that I didn’t use my voice to say no.”
Kumar first reported her “academic dishonesty” to Mary Ann Austin, Mizzou’s executive associate athletic director for compliance, on Nov. 2.
“I was at my wit’s end,” the former tutor added. “I had pretty much had enough, and I felt good that I had told her. Then, I realized I had opened all the evil and now the evil was out of the box and you can’t put it back in.”
She had tutored hundreds of Missouri athletes since 2010, however, she claims, only 15 are involved in “serious academic fraud.”
Kumar also posted a confession status on her Facebook page. It was followed by the university’s statement announcing an investigation into her allegations:
"The University of Missouri has received allegations of potential academic rules violations by a former tutor in the Athletics Academic Services area," the athletics department stated. "Consistent with our commitment to rules compliance and to operating our athletics program with integrity, we are conducting a review of the allegations."