Auburn hires firm to investigate alleged academic fraud

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has hired a law firm to review allegations that a part-time academic staffer took an online test for a football player.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported Wednesday that a mentor took the final exam for a player from the 2015 team. An Auburn spokesman confirmed that the university has hired Birmingham law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White to look into the allegation.

President Steven Leath said in a statement that an independent investigation hasn’t found any evidence supporting the allegations, but that he is “actively engaged as the investigation continues.” An athletic department statement says the player had returned to school to complete his degree and denies the allegation.

The Birmingham law firm is already looking into the softball and men’s basketball programs for unrelated issues.

Auburn said the part-time staffer who reported the allegation was placed on administrative leave in August.

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