If there's a sign that Harvard may actually go through with suspending the 125 undergrads caught in the school's cheating scandal, it's this: Senior co-captain Kyle Casey, who was the Crimson's leading scorer last year, plans to withdraw from the school and miss the 2012-13 season.
Casey had the option of staying at Harvard to fight the allegations, but presumably decided the risks of doing so were too high. If he had lost his appeal, then he would have been ineligible to play a final season in the Ivy League. Now, Casey has left the door open to possibly return and play for the 2013-14 year.
On Aug. 30, Harvard College announced in a letter that its administrative board was investigating allegations that approximately 125 undergraduates "may have committed acts of academic dishonesty, ranging from inappropriate collaboration to outright plagiarism, on a take-home final exam." The exam was for Government 1310: Introduction to Congress, a spring 2012 class with an enrollment of 279. Sources said that Casey, Curry and one additional men's basketball player are among a group of athletes and non-athletes whose cases are pending review. They are facing charges of academic dishonesty that could carry a one-year suspension from school.
What does this mean? It could mean that Casey is just hedging his bets and the 125 students implicated are going to come out fine. After all, various reports have said that the professor encouraged collaboration on the take-home final, and there are indications that the whole situation is more complicated than straight-forward cheating.
Or, it could mean that Casey knows the hammer is about to come down, and he wants to make sure he can play basketball another year. On August 31, the dean of undergraduate education Jay Harris said the take-home plagiarizing was "unprecedented in its scope and magnitude." Could the school be about to back up its tough talk with suspensions?