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How Will SAT and ACT Security Changes Affect Student-Athletes?

Earlier this week, my colleague Caralee Adams reported that students taking the SAT and ACT will be going through stricter security measures starting this fall in hopes of cutting back on cheating.

Given the sports background of this blog, and this author's not-so-secret obsession with the National Basketball Association, my mind immediately jumped back to Chicago Bulls star and reigning league MVP Derrick Rose, who allegedly had someone else take his SAT, according to the NCAA.

Students will now be required to submit a current photo (digital or print) when registering for the tests, which will appear on the admissions ticket for the testing site, according to Caralee. This, in theory, will cut down on the number of students who have others take their SATs and ACTs for them—which allegedly happened in Rose's case.

The Educational Testing Service sent Rose letters in March and April of 2008—in the midst of his run to the NCAA tournament championship game with the University of Memphis—informing Rose that his eligibility was "in serious jeopardy" due to his SAT score, according to a report issued by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions.

The only address ETS had on file for Rose was his home address in Illinois, according to the Associated Press. Rose did not respond to the letters and was declared retroactively ineligible after playing the whole season, forcing Memphis to vacate its 38-2 season—the most successful in school history.

With the changes announced by the College Board and ACT this week, cheating scandals similar to Rose's alleged infraction, on the surface, sound much more difficult to pull off.

"Using a digitized photo closes the barn door," said Robert A. Schaeffer, public education director at FairTest, to the Chronicle of Higher Education's Eric Hoover.

Schaeffer warned Hoover, however, that impersonation is only one of many forms of cheating, and it's apparently less popular than collaboration among test-takers during the exam.

In other words: One door to cheating may have closed with these changes, but there are plenty of other ways to accomplish the same thing.

After hearing the news this week, Hoover's Chronicle colleague, Brad Wolverton, wonders if it's time for the NCAA to open a large-scale investigation into potentially fraudulent SAT and ACT scores.

Anything to distract from the ongoing college basketball one-and-done controversy NCAA President Mark Emmert recently stoked, right?

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