FUMA under fire from NCAA

Normally, Fork Union Military Academy is lauded for excellence on the playing field, as exemplified by alumni like New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde and former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George. But now, Fork Union bears an athletic distinction no AD wants. Yesterday, the NCAA announced Fork Union as one of 22 high schools that are under review for determining whether or not to accept academic transcripts any longer.

At question is the academic rigor, or lack thereof, Fork Union student athletes endure. The list is part of the NCAA's ongoing crackdown on so-called "factory" schools who graduate student athletes with inadequate training in the classroom. The NCAA has already singled out 25 schools from whom they will no longer accept transcripts, including Riverview Learning Center in Chesapeake. Without the NCAA's clearance, most any hope an athlete would have of competing in varsity collegiate athletics is dashed.

The only good news for Fork Union is that those former cadets who graduated this year are still okay to take the field for the time being.

Also under review is Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, near the Tennessee border. Reached for comment by the New York Times, Oak Hill president Michael Groves said, "I've never spoken with anyone from the NCAA. I'm a bit outraged that I'm learning about a list from reporters that's damaging Oak Hill's reputation." Among Oak Hill's famous athletic alums are NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Jerry Stackhouse, and Steve Blake.

This inquiry has serious implications for the University of Virginia as well. In recent years, the UVA football team has suited up its fair share of Fork Union alums including current Cavalier guard Jeff Schrad, and former stars like Arizona Cardinals linebacker Darryl Blackstock and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Billy McMullen. Additionally, Oak Hill has sent basketball players to Mr. Jefferson's university in the past, such as current phenom J.R. Reynolds and former 'Hoos standout Curtis Staples.



I see that the Progress finally wrote about this in this morning's paper. Wonder if they read your story first?--hank

For more on this story, check out this week's Hook: "Sore subject: Infamous NCAA list inclusion shocks FUMA."