News & Notes: Harvard loses 4 quiz bowl titles in cheating scandal
Harvard was stripped of four National Academic Quiz Tournament titles last week after organizers discovered that a team member accessed information about quiz questions before the tournament.
Tournament officials allege that Harvard student Andy Watkins, who at that time was paid to write tournament questions for NAQT’s high school competitions, accessed NAQT’s administrative website which contained questions marked for his own competitions, The Harvard Crimson reported.
While NAQT said there is no statistical evidence that Watkins’ actions gave Harvard an advantage, the victories were nonetheless voided because of the organization’s expectations of fair play.
Harvard won four category titles from 2009 to 2011. In light of the revocation, the University of Minnesota, the University of Chicago and Virginia Commonwealth University will receive the national championships.
“I regret my breaches of question security,” Watkins said in a statement published by NAQT. “My immaturity damaged my much-prized relationship with NAQT and cast undue doubt on three remarkable accomplishments by three Harvard teams ... I apologize to my teammates, to NAQT and to the community for how my actions sullied three amazing years of competition.”
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