Sunday, December 25, 2005

Talk about mailing it in

Chalk one up for the defenders of education and the pursuit of knowledge everywhere. University High School, a Miami based correspondence academy, won’t be “educating” some of our nations up and coming athletic talent. After drawing the ire of the NCAA, the school has decided to dismiss itself.

After the New York Times exposed the seedy underbelly of fast tracked education for at least 14 students who would go on to play Division I football, the school’s owner has decided to enjoy a permanent summer vacation.

The fact that the Miami-Dade prosecutor’s sudden interest in the school surely helped to expedite the decision by Stanley J. Simmons, the school’s owner.

"It's a disaster," Stanley J. Simmons told the Times. "I'm finishing up everything, and I'm going back into retirement."

Simmons founded the school in 2000, but sold it Michael R. Kinney over a year ago. Kinney had operated the school on Simmons behalf for several years prior to buying it and turning it into a hurdle clearing diploma machine. Simmons said Kinney defaulted on his monthly payment after the Times wrote about the school.

Simmons served 10 months in a federal prison camp after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in 1989. He then sold the school to Kinney, who was charged with marijuana possession in 2003. Cheating? Drug use? Seems like the perfect curriculum for up and coming football talent.

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