BYU reports no evidence of cheating in Clemons correspondence courses

Updated: October 10, 2003, 4:58 PM ET

COLUMBIA, MO. -- Brigham Young University found no evidence of cheating on correspondence courses taken by former University of Missouri basketball player Ricky Clemons, a newspaper reported Friday.

The school in Provo, Utah, investigated how Clemons' assignments were graded and how tests were supervised for three courses the athlete took during a two-month period in summer 2002, when Clemons was enrolled at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan.

Clemons' accumulation of 24 credit hours -- through courses at Barton County and by correspondence with BYU and Adams State College in Colorado -- allowed him to qualify to play for Missouri last season.

His former girlfriend, Jessica Bunge, has said she saw Clemons receive improper academic assistance, including answers to tests while he was attending the Kansas junior college.

Missouri coach Quin Snyder said in a sworn deposition last March that he had no knowledge of cheating by Clemons. Missouri and the NCAA are conducting their own investigations, which they have said should be concluded by December.

Carri Jenkins, a spokeswoman for BYU, told the Columbia Daily Tribune the school's investigation, launched last month, focused on whether BYU's procedures for correspondence courses were followed. Clemons took courses by mail in biology, anatomy and sociology, receiving A's and B's at the same time he was failing or receiving poor grades at the Kansas campus where he was physically enrolled.

"Looking at all of these procedures, BYU's Department of Independent Study has found no evidence of cheating in relation to the grading of assignments and or the proctoring of exams," Jenkins said. "Accordingly, the department can only conclude that its procedures were followed correctly and that the correspondence courses were administered properly."

A proctor is the person designated to oversee on-site testing in correspondence courses. BYU's rules allow proctors to be educators from other institutions who aren't the student's relative, friend of athletic coach. She declined to identify the proctor for Clemons' tests, citing federal student privacy laws. But she said the proctor was interviewed by BYU investigators.

Jenkins said BYU has not been contacted by the NCAA.

Clemons was arrested last January in Columbia after Bunge alleged he choked her in a headlock and wouldn't let her leave his apartment for about an hour. After initially denying the allegations -- and being allowed to play through the season after a one-game suspension -- Clemons pleaded guilty in April to two misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail but was allowed to serve his sentence in a halfway house.

But Clemons was ordered to jail in July after a judge decided he violated court orders. After his incarceration, Missouri revoked Clemons' scholarship and booted him from the basketball team.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index