Casey, Curry back in the fold at Harvard
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Draped in the jersey he hadn’t gotten to wear in more than a year, Brandyn Curry couldn’t help but smile.
On this late October afternoon, he sat on a couch inside Lavietes Pavilion, a few minutes away from a preseason photo shoot, mere days away from the start of the college basketball season. His senior year was here — a year late, but here nonetheless. Something, surely, to be happy about.
Curry’s mind flickers back to where he sat a year ago. This time last year, he’d just arrived at his mother’s house. He and one of his closest friends and teammates, Kyle Casey, had just been implicated in the worst cheating scandal in Harvard history. Their names went public, their promising senior seasons gone before they could begin.
They sat at home as Harvard reeled off 20 wins, captured an Ivy League title and won its first-ever NCAA tournament game. They cheered, because what else could they do?
Now, after a year spent working — one at a nonprofit and one selling life insurance — Casey and Curry are back, along with nearly all of Harvard’s most successful team in program history, prompting previously unheard-of expectations for Tommy Amaker’s program.
“It was obvious that it was a very tough, challenging situation, but for those guys to handle it the way that they did and handle it kind of on behalf of everyone else,” Amaker says, before trailing off. “I don’t know what else you could have asked of them.”
Casey and Curry were among the roughly 125 students implicated in August 2012 in a widespread cheating scandal, which Harvard dean of undergraduate education Jay Harris called “unprecedented in its scope and magnitude.” The university’s investigation focused on the take-home final exam of a spring 2012 government class. Students were suspected of improper collaboration at best or plagiarism at worst, the university said.
Casey and Curry sought advice from counselors, resident deans and administrators right away. “It was so new, they didn’t know how it was going to go,” Curry says. “They laid out the potential situations we could find ourselves in. It was … [For more on Cheating scandal in the past, Casey and Curry back in the fold at Harvard, click here.]