The investigation into the fraudulent enrollment by 14 Grady High School football players is reaching an end and the picture is not pretty. According to a number of reports, parents used “document mills” to create fraudulent residency information and it is reported that one student played football, but never attended a single class at Grady.
The following are the news reports issued yesterday with some of the key information contained in each report. You can read the entire report issued by APS here and the anonymous letter that prompted the investigation here.
Grady High football players fraudulently enrolled – Mark Niesse, AJC
At least one-fourth of Grady High School’s football team was fraudulently enrolled at the school by parents who faked their addresses and forged documents…
Fourteen students who played on the team don’t live in the Midtown Atlanta school’s enrollment area, and they are being withdrawn from the school, said Superintendent Erroll Davis…
Civil and criminal charges are being considered, and the school system has sent tuition bills to families of students who should have been attending other schools.
The investigatory report also concluded that head coach Ronnie Millen and Jeff Beggs, the Atlanta school system’s athletic director, interfered with the investigation.
Davis also said at least one of the fraudulent addresses was provided by an Atlanta Public Schools employee, and another fake address was given by the spouse of a school system employee.
During a Wednesday evening community meeting at the school, parents and students said it wasn’t fair to investigate the football team based on an anonymous complaint. [emphasis added]
Investigation: 14 Grady football players ineligible to play – WSBTV with video
“We expect our parents to set examples of integrity for their children. We do not expect elaborate falsified documents, or for them to make sworn affidavits that are patently incorrect,” said Atlanta Public School Superintendent Erroll Davis.
The investigation was launched after the district received an anonymous complaint alleging address fraud and recruitment of football players at Grady High School.
“We had one player on the team that never set foot in a classroom (at Grady),” Davis said.
The report also found that Head Coach Ronnie Millen, “hindered the investigation by speaking with parents and providing advance notice of pending actions.”
Davis said personnel action and consequences will be coming in two weeks. He also said parents could face civil or criminal consequences.
“We had one parent with two signed affidavits with two different addresses for two different students,” Davis said. “We had a player on the team who never set foot in the classroom. He played three years at another school, came here as a senior and never saw the inside of a classroom.”
“The thing that just stunned me was we learned there is a cottage industry in falsified documents such as this, and you can go online and get these things, but we are also disappointed when our own employees and spouses of our employees use those types of documents. That is particularly galling,” Davis said.
Wow. Atlanta reveals 14 football players at Grady used false addresses – AJC Get Schooled
Questions remain about who knew and who should have known. Grady has 1,500 students so 14 fake enrollees might have been hard to catch, but the fact they were all on the football team should have made discovery more likely.
Was it an open secret or did parents conceal the truth with great skill and effort?
“The stunning lengths some parents went to were disconcerting,” Davis said. Parents forged names, falsely swore they were telling the truth and lied when confronted by the school district, he said.
Many of the football players accused of being fraudulently enrolled at the school have voluntarily withdrawn, while others are being asked to withdraw.
Please note that I have not included any of the quotes from either parents or athletes found in some of the articles above. In my opinion, most of these quotes are, at best, self-serving rationalizations for fraudulent behavior.
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