Was Derrick Rose A Cheater In High School?

Transcript was changed, fits NCAA's description of SAT cheat

By Eamonn Brennan
|  Friday, May 29, 2009  |  Updated 5:51 AM CDT
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Was Derrick Rose A Cheater In High School?

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If the NCAA's allegations line up, Derrick Rose may have cheated on his SAT to get into school.

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In one 24-hour period, Bulls' star Derrick Rose has twice been implicated in cheating -- or at least benefiting from it -- once in high school and again on his SAT.

Just as Rose was applying for college, someone inexplicably changed a D on his Simeon High School transcript to a C, the Sun-Times reported. Once the transcripts were sent out to colleges, the grade was changed back.

Then last night, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that the University of Memphis was under NCAA investigation for various not-so-good things, including providing around $2,000 in paid expenses for the representative of a player. The worst allegation, though, was the apparent "knowing fraudulence or misconduct" on a player's SAT score from the 2007-08 season. That player seems to be Derrick Rose.

Rose isn't specifically named in the Commercial Appeal's report; the name in the report is redacted. But the wording of the report pretty much narrows it down:

''It is alleged that [redacted] prospective men's basketball student-athlete failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standards of honesty and sportsmanship normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics for his knowing fraudulence or misconduct and administration of intercollegiate examination. Specifically, on [redacted] an unknown individual completed [redacted] SAT, with [redacted] knowledge, which was used to obtain his admission into the institution and to certify his NCAA eligibility. [Redacted] subsequently competed for the men's basketball team through the 2007-08 season, which included his participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.''

The only player who would have had to finish his test and then subsequently compete in the 2007-08 season and 2008 NCAA tournament -- the only player to go one-and-done for that Memphis team -- was current Bulls star and former Simeon high school grad Derrick Rose.

Of course, there's no way Rose can get in trouble for this. His days of NCAA worries are long over. Likewise, it appears that John Calipari, former Memphis and new Kentucky head coach, will likewise skate by without much incident. And the worst punishment for Memphis, at this point, will likely involve them vacating Rose's season, including the 38 wins and the NCAA Final Four appearance. So there's little harm done here.

Except, of course, to Rose's reputation, who even as a one-and-done mercenary at Memphis is well-regarded by fans and the media. Does this change that? If the allegation's true -- if Rose really cheated his way into college, do people look at Rose differently? Do they care? That result will be just as interesting as anything the NCAA hands down anytime soon.

Update:  Derrick Rose's attorney issued a statement late Thursday regarding the cheating allegations:

"Mr. Rose is aware of the allegations recently reported in the press," said Rose's attorney, Daniel E. Reidy, in a statement.  "Mr. Rose cooperated fully with the University of Memphis' athletic and legal departments' investigation of this issue when he was a student and that investigation uncovered no wrong-doing on his part.   At this time, Mr. Rose sees no reason to engage in further discussion regarding this matter and will instead focus on his career as a professional basketball player."

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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