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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2007
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Hoover school board to decide if athletics probe is disclosed

HOOVER (AP) — The Hoover Board of Education will decide if the public should be allowed to see the findings of an investigation into alleged academic wrongdoing involving Hoover High School athletes.

Sam C. Pointer Jr., a retired federal judge conducting the probe into alleged grade fixing or changes, will report his findings to the board. He said he cannot promise anonymity to sources he interviews concerning the school that gained fame on MTV's "Two-A-Days."

"I don't know whether the board will say, Let's let it all hang out,' or if the board will say, 'Let's at least protect names of people,' " Pointer told The Birmingham News in a story Tuesday.

School Board President Donna Frazier said parts of the report might have to remain private.

"Anything that we can make public, we will, but just know that if it involves good name and character (of employees) we will not," Frazier said.

"We never have and we never will, because then we find ourselves with a major lawsuit."

Hoover math teacher Forrest Quattlebaum said a grade for an unnamed senior football player was improperly changed from a B to an A to help him become eligible to play in college.

Also, former assistant superintendent Jan Dennis claims a teacher reported feeling pressured to give a football player the grade he needed to be college eligible.

Dennis said the teacher believed she lost her job for resisting.

Liz Wallace, an officer of the Hoover Parent Teacher Council, expressed concern that the school board can choose what it discloses to the public.

"There's not a very high level of trust with the school board right now," Wallace said.

"If they look at the report and just say, `We determined there's nothing there,' I think people will be very distressed."

The school board is expected to vote on a contract Thursday for Pointer, who works for the Birmingham law firm Lightfoot, Franklin & White.

He said he will charge $350 an hour instead of his normal $600 rate.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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