It might have been a bit hard to follow since the news kind of leaked out slowly, but here is how the Bledsoe story shakes out:
1. In this report that was released by a law firm paid TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to do it, an investigatory team found that Eric Bledsoe’s grades were changed because of “extra makeup work” that he did in order to raise the grades. The investigatory team determined that this explanation was, to them, “not credible”, but they had no evidence to prove wrongdoing.
2. Faced with that report, the Birmingham Superintendent determined that there would be no change made to Eric Bledsoe’s transcript and he said that he believed the teacher that Bledsoe earned his grades with the extra makeup work. He also however said that changes would be made in the future to make the “makeup work” policies more consistent (which is big news on the “Birmingham Public Schools Makeup Work Policies Radio Blog”)
So there you go. It looks as if the end result is a we dont like what happened, but we cant prove anything wrong was done finding by a lawfirm paid ten grand to produce a document that even Eric C Conn would mock. With the Birmingham School District not changing Bledsoe’s grades, it seems very unlikely the NCAA will do anything and UK is probably in the clear. Mitch Barnhart released this statement:
“We maintain our reliance on the high school, university and NCAA eligibility center for initial eligibility and will continue to do so. At no point was the University of Kentucky under investigation by the NCAA nor had any reason to believe we were ever under investigation.”
This hasnt stopped the original reporters, Pete Thameltoe at the New York Times and the Birmingham News, from not yet reporting the statements that no change to the grades will be made. But at this point with the media, nothing surprises me. The Birmingham News led with the “not credible” language in its headline, the AP led with the “no action will be taken” headline. Thameltoe spun on Twitter but in the end will likely find his two articles all for naught. It is unfathomable to me that a school district can justify the money spent on this investigation and I hope all the ink and television money (OTL, I would be glad to return) covering this story was really worth it. We ended up right back where we started…with a grade that seems odd and potentially suspicious, but no proof of anything.
I really hope Thamel and all the others that spent such a great degree of time investigating an Algebra III grade given to a kid from the projects in Birmingham and then releasing his transcripts in the media so as to paint the picture that he is dumb, really are proud of themselves. Its noble work you fellas do.