Athletic academic support program director leaves amid scandal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The director of Florida State's
athletic academic support program is the latest casualty of the
cheating scandal that stripped the football team of two dozen key
players in last month's bowl loss to Kentucky.

Mark Meleney was told his contract would not be renewed,
although he will be kept on the payroll until its expiration this
summer to help with the transition.

"Meleney was not fired," Florida State President T.K.
Wetherell said Wednesday. "He's got the option to apply for

Meleney, who was informed of his dismissal Tuesday, did not
immediately respond to a phone message Wednesday for comment. He
was head of the program for nine years.

Wetherell said he thought the personnel changes were largely

Two of Meleney's employees were dismissed last year after it
became known that answers were called out to students taking a
music history class last spring. Many of those in the class were
scholarship athletes.

"It's not physiology, it's a music course. Open book, online,"
football coach Bobby Bowden fumed last month during a preparation
for the team's Dec. 31 Music City Bowl game. "Anybody could pass
an open book test, gee whiz."

Athletic director Dave Hart Jr., and several of his assistants
have also left in recent months, although those changes weren't
directly related to the present investigation of academic
wrongdoing by the school and NCAA.

Florida State is finalizing its report to the NCAA that involves
nearly four dozen athletes in several sports who had answers
provided to them on the exam in the three-credit hour class.

"We'd like to do it sooner than later, but that's up to the
NCAA," Wetherell said. "We want to make sure we've got everything
in it that they want."

He thought the report would be on its way by the end of the
month. The university reported its initial findings in a letter to
the NCAA in September after a six-month investigation by the

Wetherell has put interim athletic director Bill Proctor in
charge of reshaping the academic support program.

"The president has high expectations about athletes attendance
in class," Proctor said. "We are working on restructuring our
academic support system. We want to make sure it functions."

The players forced to sit out the bowl game will also be
suspended for the first three games of the 2008 season.

Federal privacy laws prohibit the school from releasing names of
the suspended athletes.