Duquesne: No academic favors granted to former player
College Football Videos
Duquesne University did not offer academic favors to a former basketball player at the school, its attorney said Monday.
Sam Ashaolu, who was the most seriously injured of five players in a 2006 on-campus shooting, contends in a video on his Website that he was given special treatment to help him graduate.
"The allegations as they relate to the suggestion that Duquesne has compromised its academic integrity are completely unfounded," said Steve Zoffer, counsel for the school. "We are a little surprised and not sure where this is coming from at this point in time.
"As far as his graduation and completing academic requirements, he had to complete them just like anybody else."
Ashaolu said in a video on his Website (samashaolu.com) that assignments and tests were done for him when he returned to school after his recovery.
"I was struggling in class," said Ashaolu, who said on his Website that he has bullet fragments in his head from the shooting. "I was getting by, but it was very hard for me."
He said he was told to come to the office of a school official he identified as "Dr. D" where his completed assignments needed only his signature.
"They had my homework or tests or anything I had to do, he would have it done," Ashaolu said. "They just told me to come to his (Dr. D's) office and they will have assignments done and they told me to put my name on it or copy down and hand it in to the teacher and that was it."
Ashaolu, who remained on scholarship at Duquesne after the shooting, graduated in 2009, but he said he had no reason to celebrate.
"I knew what the school was up to," he said. "I knew the whole situation. Graduation day wasn't a happy feeling for me.
"I knew the whole plan. I wasn't helping out the school. I wasn't playing for the school. They are like, 'We have to try to get him out of here as soon as possible.' "
Ron Everhart, who was the school's head coach at the time of the shootings, did not return a telephone call to the Tribune-Review.
Contacted Monday at his home in Toronto, Ashaolu was reluctant to discuss his remarks, but he said he stands behind them.
"Everything I put out there is authentic," Ashaolu said. "There are no lies or anything like that."
He declined comment on whether or not he has informed the NCAA of his charges. The NCAA did not immediately respond to questions from the Tribune-Review.
Ashaolu sued Duquesne University in 2010 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court for failing to protect him.
Judge Ronald Folino dropped the university from the lawsuit, and the state Superior Court in 2012 upheld Folino's ruling by a 2-1 vote.
Ashaolu's attorney William Goodrich called the court rulings against his client "absurd." He added that Ashaolu has no further courses of action.
"But he has two bullets in his head, still," Goodrich said.
Lawsuits filed by former Duquesne players Stuard Baldonado, Shawn James and Kojoh Mensah, who also were injured in the shootings, were dismissed March 30 by U.S. District Judge David Cercone.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Fábregas: Cancer-stricken California woman chooses to plan her death
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Pens look to buck shots, goals trend
- Cafeteria worker tried to stop Washington school shooter
- Jack Bruce, bassist of 60s band Cream, dies at 71
- Man robbed, shot in East Liberty
- Police investigate 2 shootings in Washington County, one of them fatal
- Pa. to monitor travelers from West Africa for Ebola virus