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Matthew Whitaker incorrectly claimed Academic All-American status: Report

December 26, 2018

Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker incorrectly claimed on his resume and on government documents that he was named an Academic All-American while he played football at the University of Iowa, according to a media report Wednesday.

Mr. Whitaker claimed the All-American honor, bestowed on student-athletes who have at least a 3.3 grade point average, on multiple documents. Among those documents: the biography on the website of his former law firm, a resume he sent to a patent company, a 2009 Justice Department press release and documents released by the Federal Trade Commission.

He also reportedly made the claim when he applied to be a judge in Iowa.

But The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the College of Sports Information Directors of America doesn’t have a record of Mr. Whitaker as an Academic All-American. A spokeswoman for the organization told the Journal that Mr. Whitaker appeared to have been awarded the lower, All-District honor.

The paper also reported that Mr. Whitaker is not included among a list of past Academic All-Americans on the CSIDA website.

Mr. Whitaker, who played tight end for the University of Iowa football team, from 1990-92.

A Justice Department spokeswoman told the Journal that Mr. Whitaker used a 1993 media guide, which listed him as a GTE District VII Academic All-American. GTE was a sponsor of the award at that time.

Steve Roe, an assistant athletic director at the University of Iowa, told the Journal that confusion could stem from how the honor is listed in the school’s media guide.

The CSIDA spokeswoman said that in the 1990s people sometimes used the Academic All-American and Academic All-District sections “interchangeably and innocently” because the organization was less coordinated back then, according to the Journal.

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