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Coach eyed in potential grade-changing scandal

February 8, 2012 4:14:40 AM PST
A preliminary report on a potential grade-changing scandal on Long Island is causing an uproar Wednesday.

The report says the grades for Bellport High School athlete Ryan Sloan were altered to qualify the football star for an NCAA scholarship to Syracuse University.

The report says that Sloan's football coach, Joe Cipp, Jr, who went on to become the school district's superintendent, was likely either involved or knew what was going on.

The investigation began after Bellport principal Kevin O'Connell said he was fired for failing to raise the student's marks. O'Connell has since filed a wrongful termination suit against the South Country Central School District.

Cipp denies he was part of any wrongdoing. Officials stress that the 58-page preliminary report is not complete, and that new information could change the results.

Sloan, a freshman at Syracuse and member of the university's football team, has declined to comment on the case, but says he worked hard to improve his grades.

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