Timeline of Haskell Investigation
• May 2012: Following a Journal-World inquiry, Haskell officials issued a news release about a federal investigation involving two student athletes, but declined a meeting with the Journal-World.
• Also in May, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or the NAIA, said it had not received any reports from Haskell about academic violations. The NAIA is the athletics conference in which Haskell competes.
• September: Haskell sent out a news release outlining violations within its athletics department and reported that its athletics programs were placed on probation by the NAIA through 2014.
• November and December: The U.S. Department of Education provided the Journal-World with several sets of documents that outlined an investigation into Haskell. The investigative documents provided further details about numerous instances of academic fraud at Haskell.
A recently obtained investigative report from the U.S. Department of Education about Haskell Indian Nations University details broader instances of academic fraud in the school's athletics department dating back to 2007 than had previously been known.
Allegations surfaced last May that the school was being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding academic problems in the Haskell athletics department.
Haskell officials provided some information about the violations, which led to the forfeiture of several basketball and football games by the school because of ineligible players. But the Department of Education report highlights a wider range of academic issues at the school not previously made public.
According to the report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Education began its investigation into Haskell after a request from the office of the U.S. District Attorney in Kansas in January 2009. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in August 2011 declined to press criminal charges in the case, for reasons that were redacted in the report. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to provide further details about its investigation into Haskell.
The DOE report, which is heavily redacted in parts and does not include the names of specific Haskell employees, included these violations:
• Fraudulent ACT scores: Two student athletes, a football player in 2008 and a football player in 2010, submitted falsified ACT scores in order to remain eligible to play sports.
• Fraudulent college course and academic transcripts: A basketball player in 2007 received an “A” for a course the student had not enrolled in until the last week of classes.
• Improper payment of college courses by staff: On several occasions, Haskell employees or volunteers paid for community college courses for student athletes whose eligibility was in question. Student athletes were also able to remain eligible by completing courses through an online college after they had failed Haskell courses.
Allegations that Haskell had been under investigation by the DOE and BIA were reported by an anonymous source to the Journal-World in May, prompting Haskell to release several statements outlining violations.
Haskell President Chris Redman met with the Journal-World in September and discussed the academic violations that led to the school’s athletics programs being placed on probation by the NAIA through 2014. Here’s what Redman reported at the time about some of the specific charges:
• Academic fraud involved one member of the 2009 men’s basketball team who had taken an online course through another community college and had received additional and fraudulent assistance in the course. Haskell was required to forfeit nine basketball games from the season in which the student had played.
• A member of the 2010 football team submitted a fraudulent ACT score upon admission to the school. At some point, the score had been fraudulently altered to enable the player’s athletic eligibility. Redman said it was never determined who altered the score. The school was required to forfeit the one game the player had played in.
However, the Department of Education report highlighted several instances of academic fraud that were not mentioned by Redman during his interview with the Journal-World or in earlier statements from Haskell.
Redman, in a written statement on Jan. 18, said information Haskell had previously released "was specific to the NAIA probation issue," and the Department of Education report obtained by the Journal-World referred to different issues.
Redman said he had not seen the Department of Education report until he received it from the Journal-World last week.
Redman also said "employees were either no longer at Haskell or were disciplined for the issues relative to the report," and that "additional stopgaps were applied along with other reinforcements of policy."