The Harvard Crimson made their first NCAA tournament since 1946 when they won the Ivy League in 2012. Two of the biggest reasons for their success were then-juniors Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry. Casey led the team in scoring with 11.4 points per game, while Curry led the team in assists at 5.0 per game. Prior to their upcoming senior seasons, the two players were named co-captains as the Crimson looked to make their back to the Big Dance. According to a report from SI.com, they may be without their two best players for the 2012-13 season.
The story from Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn discusses the news that Curry and Casey had been linked to a cheating scandal that involved over 100 Harvard students.
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 punishment for such actions would be a one-year suspension from the university. Apparently the two players have the option of fighting the charges, but risk losing their final years of NCAA eligibility if they don't win the appeal. At this point, it would seem that the most logical choice for them is to leave Harvard for the upcoming season and make sure that everything is settled before the 2013-14 season, when they would be eligible again.
Does this impact Boston College basketball? Eh, I'd say yes, but indirectly.
Prior to these reports, Harvard was one of the few real quality teams on the Eagles' non-conference schedule. The showdown between two Boston schools -- especially with Harvard's March Madness appearance last year -- would have been good for local exposure. With what appears to be a very watered down Crimson team, that game looks far less attractive.
On the other hand, this scandal does not help Harvard basketball's reputation among recruits. For a local player looking for a Division 1 basketball program while seeking excellent academics at the same time, the stench of these allegations may repel him from Harvard. I don't want to overstate things and say that the academic integrity of Harvard is completely tarnished because of a couple players cheating. That's not the case at all. Instead I'll say this: Steve Donahue's developing and (so far) scandal-free program ought to look a bit more attractive in comparison.