U Quizbowl Player Talks Harvard Cheating Scandal

Updated: 03/30/2013 11:43 AM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz

Minnesotans believe in playing fair and now the University of Minnesota Quizbowl Team is being rewarded for doing just that. The team is receiving two titles originally awarded to Harvard University in 2009 and 2011.

National Academic Quiz Tournaments, the company that ran the competitions, says a member of the Harvard team accessed pages containing the first 40 characters of quiz questions to be read at the tournaments.

"NAQT has neither direct nor statistical evidence that these writers took advantage of their prior access in game situations, but the mere possession of it goes against competitors' expectations of fair play," the company said on its website.

The student also released a statement saying:
"I regret my breaches of question security. I am gratified that NAQT acknowledges that there is neither direct nor statistical evidence that I took advantage of my access; though I know everyone will make their own judgments, I did compete in good faith."

"When I first learned that we won, I was just like, this is great," said Andrew Hart, who was a member of both the 2009 and 2011 U of M Quizbowl teams.

"I'm a little bit disappointed first of all that we didn't get a chance to really take it in at the time and be recognized at the tournament for what I thought was maybe the best tournament that we had ever played as a team," Hart said.

Harvard was also stripped of two other titles. One will be awarded to the University of Chicago, the other to Virginia Commonwealth University.

"Maybe we need to do a better job recognizing that hey, there's a lot of people who do really well, and they are not necessarily always the people that win," Hart said.

Click here to see the complete company and student statements.