MACOMB, IL – Jim Lenz's guest is the associate director of student athlete support services from the Ohio State University Vicki Melnick.
They talk about reforms made after the Maurice Clarett scandal at the university in 2003. That year the New York Times reported Clarett was allowed to take easier oral exams rather than written exams in one of his classes. Melnick says an investigation cleared the university but led to changes.
She says the reforms have been effective.
Student-athletes must meet entrance standards and continuing standards to maintain their eligibility. The requirements include completion of a certain number of core courses. Athletes must declare a major during their third year. They must demonstrate progress toward a degree.
She says ties between the student support and the administration was strengthened by moving the student athlete support services office under the oversight of the the office of academic affairs. The office now answers to a vice-provost. She also says oversight was strengthened with regular audits.
The university also offers training to tutors so they know the rules when they help athletes with their studies.
She says all transfer and freshman student-athletes must a attend a workshop on academic misconduct. She says students who are brought up on charges sometimes don't realize they have committed an infraction.
Melnick says the office rarely deals with cheating. She says the bulk of the office's work is to help students catch up on their academics to keep their eligibility. She says
She says student-athletes at OSU carry a cumulative 3.07 grade point average.
Melnick was in Macomb this week for a speaking engagement at Western Illinois University and took some time out during her trip to visit with Tri States Public Radio.