Henry E. Lyons, a lecturer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, says a high-profile student-athlete's grade was changed over his protests.
Lyons is asking the NCAA to investigate, and he says the investigation should go back to the 1990s. Lyons contends that student athletes are given better grades than other students.
University officials deny the allegations.
Lyons said he handed out four F's in his career and life development class. He said three F's went to normal students while the student-athlete got an F. He said the normal students' grades weren't in question, but the athlete's was.
"The student did not pass the course," he said. "No ifs, ands or buts about it. The final test showed it and as I was going through what they called an appeals process. I realized it was all a sham."
He said his superiors told him he should allow the student-athlete to re-write the final paper and add in participation points. When he argued against it, he was told two other faculty members would grade the student's course work.
Lyons said student-athletes should not receive preferential treatment.
"There are some that obviously know how to use the system," he said. "And the system is designed to let them do that."
UMKC Chancellor Leo M. Morton said Lyons' "charges are completely baseless and absolutely false."
"We are delighted by the prospect of a thorough investigation of these charges by the NCAA," according to the statement. "We hope they will decide to investigate. If they do, we will cooperate to the maximum extent possible, and we look forward to the public release of those findings."
However, citing federal law, the university will not discuss the grades of the specific student in question.
"Our academic procedures allow any student to challenge a course grade through a series of appeals," according to a statement from Melvin Tyler, a vice chancellor.
The final appeal is to a committee composed of faculty members.
"We are not aware of any case in the past two years in which any grade appeal by any student bypassed this process," Tyler said. "We are confident that all recommendations made by the committee are academically justified."
A recent graduate, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said student-athletes often got preferential treatment. She said one athlete got a good grade on a project even though she did all the work.
"Last semester I saw it where they didn't come to class. They didn't have games, they didn't have practices. Those are all very scheduled and they just wouldn't show up," the student said.
UMKC is best known for its men's basketball program. But Lyons did not publicly identify which program that he was referring to.
Lyons' class is no longer offered by UMKC. Lyons hasn't stepped foot in a classroom since December.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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