KU star Darrell Arthur’s eligibility questioned

Officials are investigating whether Kansas basketball star Darrell Arthur was eligible to play in high school, which could affect whether he should have ever played for the national champion Jayhawks.

South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, which already has forfeited its 2006 title because of improperly altered grades for another player, is investigating whether Arthur’s grades also were improperly altered, WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

The 6-foot-9 Kansas sophomore was second on the NCAA champion Jayhawks in scoring at 12.8 points a game and second in rebounding. He has applied for early entry into the NBA draft.

According to a former teacher and transcripts obtained by WFAA, Arthur was not passing math as a junior but his grade was changed without the teacher’s knowledge.

Arthur was one of the nation’s top recruits out of high school. The McDonald’s All-American led South Oak Cliff to consecutive state titles, earning tournament MVP both times.

Winford Ashmore, Arthur’s math teacher at South Oak Cliff who is now working elsewhere, said he stands by his story.

“In this case, Darrell is not the villain. He’s the victim, not the villain. A student is going to do just what the adults allow him to do,” Ashmore told the Journal-World today. “It’s not about Darrell. It’s about uncovering the whole system and what’s going on.

“This is something that I told administration about back when it first occurred. They brushed it aside.”

The station said the NCAA told its reporter that if a player is found to be ineligible, his college team might have to forfeit any or all games involving that student.

However, Jim Marchiony, KU’s associate athletic director for external affairs, said he believed that the investigation into Arthur would not affect the school’s basketball program.

“There’s nothing right now that says anything improper occurred,” he said. “I think we have to start from that perspective. Right now, all that’s out there is the word of a former teacher.

“In our mind, we obviously had nothing to do with the situation. The high school sends the transcript to the NCAA. The NCAA decides whether the player is eligible. The NCAA declared Darrell Arthur eligible. I can’t imagine a scenario where Kansas would be affected by this.”

“I know fans love to speculate,” Marchiony said. “The media loves to speculate. But I don’t think any of that is productive.”

Added KU coach Bill Self in a statement released late Friday afternoon: “”We are aware of the allegations as described in the news story. I’m sure the high school and the school district will do a good job determining the facts. It would be premature and inappropriate for anyone to comment any further until the process in Dallas takes its course.”