More Than Half Of Dartmouth's Football Team Was Enrolled In The Sports Ethics Class Where Dozens Cheated

Dartmouth College Students FootballAP Photo/Bob ChildDartmouth College takes on Yale University in a 2009 football game.

Close to 70% of the students enrolled in the Dartmouth College course at the center of a recent cheating scandal were athletes, according to student newspaper The Dartmouth, including most of the football, men’s hockey, and men’s basketball teams.

More than 270 students enrolled in “Sports, Ethics, and Religion” last semester, making it the largest course at Dartmouth. Only 88 students in the class were not athletes.

This week, news broke that 64 students had been accused of cheating for allegedly using “clickers” to answer in-class questions for absent students, to make it seem like they had attended class that day.

Local newspaper the Valley News reported that “most” of the students charged with cheating had been suspended for a semester.

Via The Dartmouth, here’s a good breakdown of which teams were most represented in the class:

Varsity athletes comprise just under 70 per cent of the 272-person class, including more than half of the football team, or 61 players, more than half of the men’s hockey team, or 16 players, and more than two-thirds of the men’s basketball team, or 12 players. The men’s soccer team has 10 players in the class, and the baseball, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams each have nine. Athletes in the class represent 24 of Dartmouth’s 34 varsity teams, and about a quarter of Dartmouth students are varsity athletes.

After the cheating allegations first emerged in November, The Dartmouth spoke with several student-athletes who said they “hoped the incident would not reinforce negative stereotypes about student-athletes.” As one athlete told the student newspaper, “It’s foolish to not appreciate what student-athletes go through. Try balancing a 40-hour-a-week job with schoolwork. It’s a challenge.”

Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer — who teaches “Sports, Ethics, and Religion” — has said the course was initially designed to help student athletes who may have trouble keeping up with the workload at the Ivy League college.

“I wanted to appeal to their interest, have a positive experience, allow them to succeed and build on that for their remainder of Dartmouth … Obviously it’s a great disappointment to me that many of the students, including many athletes, subverted the whole experience,” Balmer told The Dartmouth in November.

A Dartmouth spokesperson sent Business Insider the following statement:

The Academic Honour Principle is a foundational element of a Dartmouth education. The integrity and excellence of that experience require trust between our faculty and students. For this reason we treat all academic honour code violations as major misconduct. The actions of a group of students for possible violations of the honour principle relating to misrepresentation of class attendance and participation are under judicial review.

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