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Archive for Thursday, June 29, 2006

Student called to testify about Barton scandal

Former athlete says she was reprimanded for questioning work-study timesheets

June 29, 2006

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— Former student Tiffany Schleve testified Wednesday she was reprimanded and told to apologize to then-Barton County Community College coach Lance Brauman after questioning whether track athletes were actually working the hours for which they were getting paid.

"I was in tears afterward," she said. "It scared me."

Schleve, a softball player and a student worker at the school's human resources department, told jurors she was called in before her supervisors and athletic director Neil Elliott and chastised for telling Brauman earlier that "you can't tell me they actually do all the work."

The coach replied that it was none of her business, she testified.

Brauman, who is facing eight counts in U.S. District Court, is accused of participating in a scheme at the college to get athletes work-study funds and campus jobs that paid them for work they did not do, and for causing false academic credentials to be sent to other schools on athletes' behalf.

He currently is assistant track and field coach at the University of Arkansas.

The former track coach's case is the first to go to trial in a Barton County athletics scandal that spawned charges against seven coaches and the athletic director and led to the firing of the school's president.

Schleve said it was frustrating that she had to work in two departments, including a job pulling weeds each day after softball practice, while the track athletes did not have to work to be paid for their jobs.

She later apologized to Brauman as she was directed.

"He said I shouldn't be running my mouth off," she said.

Nancy Carroll, Schleve's supervisor at the school's human resources department, had testified earlier that the student was reprimanded for breaking the confidentiality of records kept at the department by talking to Brauman, and that policies subsequently were changed so student workers could not see other students' time sheets.

Part of Schleve's job at the department had been to check time sheets with a calculator to make sure those hours were added correctly.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot sent jurors out of the courtroom to question Carroll about whether she investigated the allegations. Carroll told him she did not.

"It seems to me from what I heard in this case, a lot of people at Barton Community College were not doing their job," Belot said while the jury was outside.

The defense did not cross-examine Schleve or Carroll.

JaToya Moore, a former student who ran track at the college, testified her work-study job at the school was to straighten Brauman's desk - a job she did only two times.

Moore said she did not sign the time sheets that were turned in on her behalf, and did not even know they existed until a federal agent came to her Wichita house in connection with the case.

Devin Mims and Da'Ray Sims, former students and basketball players at Abilene Christian College, testified they took a correspondence course from Barton County Community College, but never got any materials nor completed any coursework.

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