A key member of Kansas' 2008 national championship basketball team shouldn't have been eligible to play in college, according to a Dallas television station. WFAA-TV alleged last night that Kansas sophomore forward Darrell Arthur had unmerited grade changes that kept him eligible at South Oak Cliff High.
WFAA quoted Arthurís former math teacher, Winford Ashmore, saying he was asked by then-principal Donald Moten and current basketball coach James Mays to inflate Arthurís grades in his prep freshman year of 2002-03.
"Since Darrell Arthur really did not pass algebra, which means he did not clear the (NCAA) clearinghouse, that also means that he really should not have been eligible for a Division I major college scholarship," Ashmore said.
The station documented three cases of Arthurís grades being altered.
The 6-9 Arthur declared for the NBA draft in April but said he wouldn't hire an agent, so that he could remain eligible to stay at Kansas. He was an All-Big 12 first team selection this season and his 12.8 scoring average was tied for second best among the Jayhawks. He led Kansas in blocked shots and was second on the team with a 6.3 rebounding average. Arthur also posted five double-doubles this season, including a 20-point, 10-rebound effort against Memphis that was crucial to Kansas winning the NCAA championship game.
UPDATE: Coach Mays is calling the WFAA story "ridiculous" and says Arthur "has always been an excellent student, and I can't say anything but good things about him." Adds Mays: "He finished with a 3.0 grade point average this semester (at Kansas), even though he entered the draft . . . We're not talking about a dumb jock here, and that's what this story makes it sounds like."
WFAA said former principal Moten declined to comment and that school district officials are promising a complete investigation. The station noted that similar irregularities with grades involving another player, Kendrake Johnigan, already has led to South Oak Cliff forfeiting a 2006 state championship.
Nothing in the WFAA report alleged wrongdoing by Kansas, where the athletic department has declined comment. But this story is certain to add to an already tumultuous offseason for college basketball, where recruiting is under heavy scrutiny.