Friday, October 17, 2008


…or why the University of Virginia coaches, fans, alums, apologists and players claim they have trouble recruiting (and ultimately retaining for four years of eligibility), Division 1 caliber athletes for the major sports of basketball and football.


OK, she was from Ohio University (landlocked), but you get the point.

According to Karin Kapsidelis of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

An Ohio University student was ejected from the Semester at Sea program this week, put ashore in Greece for violating the University of Virginia's single-sanction honor code.

Allison Routman says she was expelled from the U.Va.-sponsored program for plagiarism because of three factual sentence fragments and a paraphrased summary of a movie she looked up on Wikipedia.

Routman, a 21-year-old senior, said she had no idea she had done anything wrong until she was accused of plagiarism.

"I had no clue," she said.

Her father, Brent, has complained about her treatment to the U.Va. Board of Visitors, arguing that the "death penalty" expulsion for academic dishonesty lacks the safeguards that would be in place for students on the U.Va. campus.

U.Va. is the academic partner with the Institute for Shipboard Education for the Semester at Sea program, which operates three voyages a year aboard a passenger ship.

U.Va. spokeswoman Carol Wood says the students who take part in the program are well-informed about requirements of the honor code. An honor-code representative conducts an all-hands meeting about the system for students during the first week.

Routman was nearing the end of the summer voyage when she was accused of plagiarism. Her class had been assigned to watch a movie and write a paper comparing it with personal experiences from the voyage.

She chose "Europa Europa," a film about the Holocaust, and related it to her experience growing up Jewish.

She said she watched the movie but looked up the synopsis on Wikipedia to make sure she used the right historical terminology.

The day before the papers were returned, she said, the professor told the class there were some suspected cases of plagiarism and asked students to come forward and make a "conscientious retraction."

"Had I had any idea I had done something wrong, I would have absolutely come forward," she said.

Several students did, however, and were not expelled, she said. But she and another student were ordered off the ship.

Routman said she and the other expelled student were put in a cab at the port of Piraeus in Greece and arrived at the Athens airport about 7 p.m. Wednesday. They spent most of the night in the airport awaiting their flights home.

Nice, UVa, NICE!

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