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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Ma Probe Finished by CSUN

Academics: Results of fraud investigation are completed and will be forwarded to Kopita.

March 27, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN and ERIC SONDHEIMER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

NORTHRIDGE — Cal State Northridge has completed an investigation into allegations that women's volleyball star Nancy Ma committed academic fraud by having schoolwork completed for her, a school spokesman said Thursday.

Assistant athletic director Ryan Finney said that Judy Brame, associate athletic director, has submitted her findings to Athletic Director Paul Bubb.

Finney said the report will be forwarded this morning to Ronald Kopita, vice president of student affairs.

Kopita said Ma, a junior from China who speaks limited English, has denied the allegations. Ma has not attended recent classes.

"She's put herself behind closed doors," Kopita said. "I think it's a cultural thing. She's embarrassed and feels ashamed by what's been published."

The Times has reported allegations by former Northridge player Nicki Midwin, who claims that she completed schoolwork for Ma with the knowledge of Northridge Coach Lian Lu and assistant Kathleen O'Laughlin. The coaches deny the allegations.

Academic improprieties are potential NCAA violations.

Midwin, a sophomore, also said she saw a roommate of Ma's complete the essay portion of a psychology test taken by Ma on March 3.

Kopita said the essay has been examined to determine if it matches Ma's handwriting.

Ellie Flato, another former Northridge volleyball player, said she completed assignments for Ma in a photography class in 1996.

President Blenda J. Wilson is expected to receive the investigative report today and will decide if any action should be taken.

Ma led Northridge to the Big Sky Conference championship in 1996.

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Mike Bresnahan is a correspondent. Eric Sondheimer is a Times staff writer.

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