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Report: Prized SMU freshman had grade changed to graduate high school

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Keith Frazier (Getty Images)

The most high-profile freshman on SMU's surging basketball team perhaps should never have been allowed to graduate high school.

The Dallas Independent School District has investigated the validity of former McDonald's All-American Keith Frazier's transcript from his senior year at Kimball High School, according to a report from Fort Worth-based TV station WFAA. The investigation revealed Frazier had at least one failing grade changed to a passing one in order to graduate and raised questions about what the SMU coaches knew about Frazier's grades, WFAA reported.

According to WFAA, The DISD investigation found Frazier was behind or failing at least three classes in the final days of the 2012-13 school year. Teachers reportedly received pressure from Kimball soccer coach and teacher's assistant Demarco King and assistant basketball coach Toby Daniels to elevate Frazier's grades.

SMU assistant coach Ulric Maligi, the Mustangs' lead recruiter on Frazier, is also implicated in the WFAA report. Maligi allegedly made several inquiries about Frazier's grades including on the day Frazier's physics grade was changed, raising questions about whether SMU should have been more vigilant into looking into Frazier's eligibility.

So far SMU is declining comment on the status of Frazier until school officials can fully review the results of the DISD investigation. Frazier, a highly touted 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is averaging a modest 5.6 points and 1.9 rebounds off the bench for an SMU team that is 16-4 overall and is tied for third with Memphis in the American Athletic Conference.

Were Frazier to be ruled ineligible, it would be a blow to the Mustangs' depth and to their future. Frazier is expected to be a key player for the program next season when fellow elite in-state recruit Emmanuel Mudiay also arrives.

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