FSU athletes get academic advisor

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 4:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 4:07 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State named a former school swim coach to take charge of its academic support program for athletes in the wake of a cheating scandal that cost the football team two dozen of its top players in a bowl game.

Bill Shults, who was the Seminoles' swim coach from 1979-1992 before directing the school's compliance program for five years, is returning to the university as director of athletic academic support. He replaces Mark Meleney, whose contract is not being renewed after nine years.

Shults was briefly at Florida International University following a 10-year stay as assistant athletic director at the University of Connecticut.

Also, former Seminole linebacker Lamont Green was hired as an academic adviser for the football team and Mary Wright was appointed coordinator of tutorial services.

The school did not make a formal announcement on the appointments announced at an athletic board of control meeting Wednesday. The school is still searching for a new athletic director.

Florida State President T.K. Wetherell overhauled the athletic department with many of the changes coming rapidly after a simmering cheating scandal boiled over in December, forcing the school to suspend some two dozen players.

Florida State is still finalizing its report on the cheating scandal last spring in a music history class where answers were provided to athletes by a former academic adviser, who subsequently resigned.

Federal privacy laws prohibit the school from releasing names of the suspended athletes, although several have admitted their roles.

The players forced to sit out the 35-28 loss to Kentucky in the Dec. 31 Music City Bowl game will also miss the first three games of the 2008 season.

Wetherell is also cracking down on athletes who skip classes.

He told the athletic board any athlete with three unexcused absences from a class would be suspended for one game, a fourth would result in losing 30 percent of the team's games and a fifth would result in a one-year suspension.

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