Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, 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, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Whitaker claimed the Academic All-American status in his biography on the website of the law firm where he used to work, as well as on a résumé he sent in 2014 to a patent-marketing firm, according to the newspaper.
The Journal reported that the résumé was also included in documents that the Federal Trade Commission released in November and that the claim was included in a 2009 press release from the Department of Justice.
Whitaker, whom President Trump named acting attorney general last month, also made the claim when he applied to be a judge in Iowa in 2010, according to the newspaper.
Whitaker was a tight end for the University of Iowa’s football team from 1990 to 1992.
A spokeswoman for the College Sports Information Directors of America told the Journal that the organization doesn’t have a record of Whitaker as an Academic All-American. The spokeswoman, Barb Kowal, said Whitaker appeared to have been awarded a lower honor, an All-District honor.
Additionally, his name isn’t on a list of past Academic All-Americans on the organization’s website.
Student athletes must have at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average to be eligible to be nominated as an Academic All-American.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupac told the Journal that Whitaker used a 1993 media guide that named him as a “GTE District VII academic All-American” when he listed the honor on his résumé.
Kowal told the newspaper that Whitaker was actually a “1992 GTE District VII Academic All-District selection.” She added that the organization was less organized in the 1990s and that “people over time use terms interchangeably and innocently.”