Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was a tight end on Iowa’s football team in the early 1990s. But it’s been recently discovered that the former Hawkeye hasn’t been honest about his accomplishments with the program.

During his rise on the political scene, Whitaker has been claiming he was an Academic All-American during his playing days in Iowa City. According to the Wall Street Journal, though, that claim is false.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the honor is listed on Whitaker’s biography, resumé and applications for job opportunities. However, he’s not listed on a website that recognizes Academic All-Americans and the spokesperson for College Sports Information Directors of America says there’s no record of Whitaker achieving the feat.

Barb Kowal, a spokeswoman for the awarding organization, also known as CoSIDA, said the group has no record that Mr. Whitaker was ever an Academic All-American.
After checking with the University of Iowa, Ms. Kowal said that it appears that Mr. Whitaker was given a lower-level honor, selected to an All-District honor in one of eight regions around the U.S. Those selected in the regions are put on the national ballot, she said. From there, a small number of student-athletes from each sport are voted to be given the coveted Academic All-American status every year.

Players must maintain a 3.3 grade point average (4.0 scale) and have a significant role on the team to be considered for Academic All-American status. Whitaker was officially a 1992 GTE District VII Academic All-District selection.

Kowal said that sometimes the two terms have been interchanged by former players “innocently.” So, perhaps it’s just a mix-up on Whitaker’s part.

Whitaker caught 21 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns while at Iowa. He was named as the country’s acting attorney general on Nov. 7,  following the firing of Jeff Sessions.