Harvard’s chances to repeat as Ivy League champions this year hit a serious roadblock Tuesday, as two of the team’s best players were implicated in its recent cheating scandal.
Co-captain Kyle Casey withdrew before Harvard’s Tuesday course registration deadline, Sports Illustrated reported early Tuesday morning. The magazine later reported that point guard and co-captain Brandyn Curry had also been implicated, but had not made a decision as to whether to withdraw. Casey’s departure alone is a serious blow to the team; the forward led the Crimson in scoring his junior year and would have been a top contender for Ivy League Player of the Year in 2012–13, according to the Harvard Crimson.
The Crimson also reported that one other player with a lesser role on the team is also involved.
The three players are involved in a cheating case involving the take-home exam from Government 1310: Introduction to Congress, which was taken by 279 students at Harvard last spring. The players have the choice to stay in school and challenge the case or withdraw and reapply to Harvard the following year.
By withdrawing before the course registration deadline, Casey will maintain his fourth season of collegiate eligibility.
Brandyn Curry’s father Herman Curry told SI.com that the younger Brandyn had not yet decided whether he would withdraw or remain in school while challenging the accusation.
Casey led the balanced Crimson offense with 11.4 points per game last year. Curry was the teams leading assist man with 4.9 per contest. He also paced the team by averaging 1.6 steals per game, which was good for fifth in the Ivy League. He also led the Ancient Eight in assist-to-turnover ratio, registering 2.6 assists per giveaway.
Without Casey and Curry, the Crimson would return to the court this year having lost four of their top five scorers from their Ivy League-championship team last year.
Last year the Cantabs posted a 26-5 record on the way to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1946.