Coach K sets things straight with his Top Eight

Posted by Andy Durham on May 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm under High School | 38 Comments to Read

These are the Top Eight issues that former Nothern Guilford basketball coach Stan Kowalewski wants to get straight as many questions still need to be answered surrounding the Nothern Guilford Nighthawk basketball program.

I spoke with Coach K today and here is what he had to say:

1) My current purpose/initiative/focus — My sole focus is the players that have been wrongly punished by Guilford County and the NCHSAA. All of my efforts are directed towards our 2009 state championship being returned to Northern Guilford. I will utilize all of my efforts to help our families correct this tragedy that Guilford County Schools has caused. This is not about me or where I will coach next, my coaching career is on the back burner until my kids get their title back.

2) Players leaving Northern – We have two ineligible players according to Guilford County and if their punishment is not overturned, they will be forced to attend either a private school or go out-of-state. I have advised those players’ families that if the punishment is not overturned, that I will do everything in my power to help them get to another school that will help them grow as a student-athlete. The N&R incorrectly reported that I “urged” my players to leave Guilford County Schools. When I have been asked (over the last few days) for my advice regarding what should they do for next year — my response has been that “based on what I have seen with my own eyes regarding Guilford County School’s tactics, I would not advise attending public school in Guilford County.” Please understand that I also told our parents that this is their own decision and that I can only offer advice based off my experiences. My own children attend Guilford County Schools and my wife and I are now seriously re-considering where to send them next year. I went to public school myself , as did my wife, and we are advocates for public schools. I am concerned when I don’t see Guilford County Schools doing anything with our children’s well being placed at the forefront.

3) Northern Guilford Community Support – The support that my family has received from the families affiliated with Northern Guilford has been outstanding and I also appreciate the faculty support that I have received. Northern Guilford HS had some great administrators and still has some great faculty. It is still a fantastic academic school with outstanding facilities. In addition, I have heard nothing but praise for incoming principal Will Laine and I hope that he can do as great a job as Joe Yeager did and be there for the kids. Over the last month, the kids at Northern have been ignored, forgotten and neglected and that is unfortunate. Kids are smart and they know who is genuine and who is not.

4) Equality – I have no problem with investigations if there are facts presented to warrant an investigation. I seriously question starting an investigation based off rumors, gossip and coaches who are looking for excuses instead of in the mirror. But, if Guilford County wants to investigate based off rumors and gossip, then they must investigate ALL Guilford County Schools and also spend as much time and spend as much money as they did on the Northern investigation. That is being fair.

5) Proof – I seriously question Guilford County Schools’ assertion that our Athletic Director, Derrell Force, and our Principal, Joe Yeager, “should have known” that Northern had ineligible players. I know for a fact that all of the basketball players provided the necessary documentation to be eligible according to the residency requirements put forth by Guilford County. Northern asks for the same documentation (proof of ownership/rental agreement and utility bills) that all other county schools and schools across the state are asking for. In addition, our Athletic Director and Principal were contacted by the county to investigate if X kid was living at X address. I know this, because some parents told me that Coach Force and/or Mr. Yeager came to their house. The bottom line is that our AD and Principal did what they were asked to do by Guilford County and I have seen no proof that “they should have known” that there were ineligible players at Northern.

6) Recruiting – I was very happy to see the e-mails released by the county last week, in fact I wish they had been released months ago. Those e-mails showed two things: 1) Lots of jealous coaches inside and outside Guilford County that chose to make false allegations against my players, our program and I and 2) that on all occassions that we were contacted by families wanting to attend Northern, we told them that we couldn’t talk to them until they were enrolled at Northern. My AD and I approached this topic straight to the letter and handled each instance the same way. I regret that the N&R did not mention, but briefly, those types of e-mails that my AD and I had responded to. The bottom line – we have never recruited players. Do families want their children to attend the best schools and play sports for the best coaches? Absolutely. What is Northern Guilford guilty of? Being a great school and hiring great coaches to build great programs.

7) What’s Next – The parents, community, players and I are committed to fight to get our state title rightfully restored. There are various avenues that are being pursued and everyone has the energy to carry this fight as long as it takes. I am very confident that we will prevail and have our state title returned. This is the sole priority at this time. My players have been left out in the cold by Guilford County and we will fight for them, since the school system and our School Board representative, Darlene Garrett have turned their backs on Northern Guilford. There are two fights that are taking place 1) Regarding the state title which was taken away because our AD and Principal “should have known” there were ineligible players and 2) the two basketball families that have had their sons declared ineligible have retained attorneys and are preparing to challenge the NCHSAA’s ruling and Guilford County’s investigation.

8) Overwhelming Support – It is not difficult to summon the energy to fight when you know in your heart that you have been wronged and when you receive the tremendous amount of support from the city, county, state and across the country as we have. College coaches, community leaders, friends, enemies and neutral observers alike ahve said the same —that we the victims of a witchhunt and that this entire situation should have been avoided.


  • Eddie Willis said,

    I have a suggestion for the school system to control athletics:

    Hire a part-time parent whose daughter is involved in female activities and a part=time parent whose son is involved in male activities @ each high school to oversee the respective attendance and registrar responsibilities.
    The only requirement is that they must be disgruntled enough with the management of the school and the athletics ( whether it’s because their child did not make a team, did not receive adequate playing time, or did not play the position the parent wanted her/him to play.
    They will investigate every alleged illegal player or academic vilolation @ no cost to the city and will present reports to Jill Wilson before each season starts to insure we will not be subjected to another fiasco like this any time soon.
    Some parents may even be willing to do this as volunteers!

  • Fan said,

    that’s cool

  • Guilford County Observer said,

    So he’s really serious about going forward with this………..and even has gotten attorneys for the players. If the NG players and their families had “any” smarts they would simply do like G. K. and go to a prep academy rather than try and pursue legal action. Tying up Mo Green and staff in a civil matter would only halt other investigations and distract from the busioness of running a school system. He doesn’t mention anything about the fines levied by the NCHSAA against Northern for “self-reporting” this matter; only the state title that was stripped from the team. Superintendent Mo Green on behalf of Northern Guilford vacated the state title so there is no legal recourse that K will be able to pursue in that matter. Case closed.

    Sadly, this is what happens when un-educated parents grant someone of this caliber so much influence over their children and not for once consider the possible repercussions that could result.

    A hard, bitter lesson to be learned by all.

  • keith said,

    Here is a few questions nobody has answered.

    How many northern athletes played on Coach K’s Greensboro Gators?
    How many of those athletes came to play for him at Northern?
    How many of those players on the AAU Gators started for Northern?

  • Emily said,

    My guess is he had no issues with Guilford County or Public schools in general until he got busted and now hes facing the consequences. Sorry buddy but I lost my sympathy a long time ago. Those who do wrong should suffer consequences, keeping your state title teaches nothing. While it is an unfortunate situation, acting like you did nothing wrong when quite literally the whole state knows you recruited is punishable in my eyes. I would hope that more schools will be investigated for recruiting it is a serious issue that should be addressed. I think another issue is special programs at certain high schools. Player A is a really good football player, Dudley knows it. “Hey player A come enroll in our academy not because your academically inclined but we want you on our football team!” Just giving an example not trying to accuse. There is a lot to be said for that. Hopefully Mo will get the right people on board to start cracking down on what seems to be a growing issue around the area.

  • dweeb said,

    You gotta love this great country of ours! Where else can you break the rules and get punished for it then turn around and threaten to sue the entity that discovered the misdeeds that led to your punishment?

    Northern parents and fans…get over it! Regardless of who’s at fault for not checking this kid’s address or that kid’s address, the bottom line is that rules were broken and penalties were invoked. Being part of a suit to overturn those penalties is frivolous and ill-advised. You’re not doing your kids any favors by implying that it’s okay to break the rules.

    As far as being upset because the GCS system based their investigation on rumors and gossip, well ta-de-da. I would guess that most investigations of this type start that way. The truth is that it ended up not being rumors and gossip at all! If there had been no harm there would have been no foul (sorry for the basketball analogy). So again I say…get over it!

  • Gotcha said,

    Me thinks the coach doth protest too much! Just because other schools are doing it does not remove the sin. I find it very unappealing that Coach K wiggles thru the rules. He states that he had two ineligible players and that if their punishment is not overturned… If they are ineligible then that’s it. He says that when contacted by someone regarding playing at Northern “we can’t talk to you UNTIL you’re enrolled at Northern”, not I’m sorry you live out of district and are play for another team good luck with the season.

    The rules apply to everyone and just because you got caught and others haven’t doesn’t mean they don’t apply. Try that one on a State Trooper next time you get caught for speeding.

    Northern parents and fans. How many of those on the team did your children go to elementary and middle school with? Take your medicine, teach your kids a lesson and move on.

  • footballlover616 said,

    Has everyone just forgotten about Mr. Lawson, or was his involvement in this matter to much to overcome? Force and Yeager wern’t the only two to lose jobs over this matter.

  • jake said,

    After Stan wins back his state title he is going to join forces with OJ Simpson and help him find his wife’s killer.

  • uh? said,

    The biggest threat of them all will be him taking his kids out of the public school system. He really has the school system upset and distraught about that one.

    Get real man! These so-called “jealous” coaches knew exactly what you’ve done, so you look in the mirror and blame yourself for hurting these kids. However, I believe you are too arrogant to accept this responsibility. Trying to save face now by fighting for these kids is disgusting. You should have thought about the consequences before hand. You are supposedly a smart man, so you should have known better and had a conscience. Move on and good riddance.

  • gimmeabreak said,

    LMAO! I hope Coach K exhausts all of his money in fighting this legally. He probably will because that is what narcissists do. Has anyone ever thought about maybe these lower/middle class parents thought that associating themselves with the affluent Northern community may in some way get them out of their “situation”. Carolina and Duke do it in college basketball, but this is High School Basketball. Socioeconomic status is a b-tch! To answer someone’s question about how many kids played for the gaters, probably all of them, just a hunch!

  • question??? said,

    Andy,
    I would like for someone to explain residence vs domicile. I always thought if you are living in your house in the district that was the correct way. It turns out you can be living in the district producing leases and power bills yet still not be legal because it is your residence not your domicile. I think this could be the case of many families in Guilford County without them having knowledge of breaking the rule.

  • Basketball Fan said,

    You can have 2 residences/houses. One can be in district A and the other in district B. But per Guilford County rules, you can only claim 1 as the residence you reside in. Some kids have issues where they go back and forth between parents. Thus they can have 2 residences. And this is the similiar issue with the players at Northern. And yes this is case where the parents had no knowledge of “breaking the rule” but per Mo Green it is legal to have 2 residences. So that is where I am confused. Can someone share some insight?

  • "ol bawl coach" said,

    You know the old saying “ignorance is bliss,silence is golden,but the best one is no one will ever no how ignorant you are . . .until you open your mouth” ! Out of all thats been said,this coach still feels that every one else is wrong except him. This is my last comment on this subject because . . .Stevie Wonder can see through this . . .YOU GOT CAUGHT BREAKING THE RULES ! Did you ever read the NCHSAA rule book on coaching in this state or that didn’t apply to you. Man give us all a break and just move in a DEEP hole, cause that’s what you’ve caused,not anyone else. You are too self righteous ,self centered to even convey that you did something wrong. I pity the parents AND kids that have followed you. What good comes out of BENDING the rules for self satisfaction . . . . . total embarrasment ! But, you can’t be embarrassed, that’s sad. You did those kids on your team an injustice by them believing in you, YOU ARE NOT GOD ! You seem to think so though. K, get over it ,you did it ,even though you fail to admit it . . . . and now kids have to suffer for your actions. If you are so much for “your kids ” as you say. leave the school system alone and create your own school where you can run it the way you see fit and it want be governed by the NCHSAA. You could become the next OAK HILL then. Just give it a rest and take IT like a man . . . .you caused all this mess, so be a man and help clean it up by . . . .MOVIN’ ON ! ! !

  • notaschoolboardfan said,

    posted by question???, my opinion, this is what an over reaching superintendent and school board used to strip the school of it’s championship……they used a gray area to make such a big decision..they took it upon themselves to create a rule…change the rules in the middle of the game …so to speak..this is unconstitutional and downright wrong …. unfortuntely it will be decided by a court of law. In coming months , it will blow your mind the can of worms our school administrators have opened up. Desperately needed tax dollars will go to the investigations and lawyers than our schools for years to come.This is what you asked for, and you got it , in the name of greed and jealously. Just an opinion…

  • smoov said,

    notaschoolboardfan,

    to my knowledge the school system did not strip Northern of their title. the NCHSAA stripped Northern of it’s title. Guilford investigated and turned the findngs over to the NCHSAA. Guilford County Schools does not have that type of clout.

  • Stop Crying said,

    I can end all of the talk if Stan and all of the parents at NG answer this question. Take the Coach (K) out of the school, would you have had this problem? How can he or anyone else say that it is a great program, they have only been around for 3 years. Great programs take time and hard work and NG has no history. Ask Stan what happen his first year in the State Games played here with the real players from NG, his teams were getting beat by 30 and 40 points a game. Watch NG in the next few years when all of the players that Stan brought over are gone, the teams will look like any other county team. “Take Stan out of the picture and what do you have”

  • dweeb said,

    How much clearer can right or wrong be to anyone looking at this situation? No one at GCS has said that Stan recruited anyone. All they have said is that ineligible players were used. Yet, Stan and a group of the Northern parents are threatening to sue somebody over this. What a joke! Why not put that time and those resources to something more worthwhile? This is about high school basketball folks, not a world crisis!

    I find it sad that Stan and the Northern parents are trying to blame everyone else for the fact they broke the rules. Let’s see…it’s the GCS’s fault, it’s Darlene Garret’s fault, it’s the other county high schools’ fault, it’s the NCHSAA’s fault, etc., etc. Not once during this mess have we seen or heard of anyone at Northern say “I’m sorry, I/we broke the rules…it’s my/our own fault.” Doing that would go a long way in helping to put this behind us. Instead there continues to be this arrogant attitude that somehow Northern is above the rules. Go figure.

  • Outside Looking N said,

    This is perfect….did anyone see outside the lines yesterday on ESPN….they are talking about almost the same thing…..how the AAU Coach is overshadowing the HS Coach unless he is the one coaching the team…..and how it is effective the kids.

    On another note??? So, what is going to happen to the other coaches…..Baseball Coach…had to forfeit their entire season…..did it have anything to do with the kid from Grimsley moving over…….

  • No parents said,

    This is an issue I think all of Guilford County should ban together on. After these kids where told in a large group they had been found illegal and would be striped of all titles and games. The five kids from the three families where removed from the group. They where then taken into separate offices per family and where told. You are the ineligible players you will not be able to play sports for one year and will have to return to your “district” school. Mo Green and other adults were in the room but NO PARENTS. These kids lived in the district one set walked home from school. How do you tell a child this kind of news without their parents? It does not matter to me if they are right or wrong you should never treat a child like this. Why was it a rush to tell these five kids and not wait on the parents? The parents were told they had been called but could not be reached and it was important to go ahead and tell their kids. I do not care if you like Northern or not PARENTS should have been present with those kids. We should all make our voices heard on this issue. NO PARENTS? How is that right in any circumstance?

  • Andy said,

    The residence versus domicile rule does need some clarification.

    If you buy a home in the district and live there but have another home in your previous district, which one is your home? You would think the place that you are currently residing in. How soon before you start receiving the new power bill and how long do you have to have that bill in hand so you can show it to the school?????

    Questions are also surfacing about kids that were living in one district with both parents and then mom and dad seperated and the athelte went to live with mom in the new district. Which district is that kid committed to?

    There are other cases where a kid may have one parent living at one location and the other parent at another location and the mom and dad are still married…….

    The real red flags come up when false addresses were used. That falut would lie with the parents.

    Who is to say that on the first day of school when you fill out that paper work for your beginning of school year personal records that I didn’t put down a false address within the school district of the school I am attending. If I am a junior or senior and I drive to school, then if I go to the phone book and pick out an address and put it down and the school never checks up on individual students then I am home scott free.

    You would have to keep a low profile to pull off what I mentioned above, but I do think it proves there are ways of getting around the system but you better keep your mouth shut and only score 10 points per game. The plan I mentioned above would work to perfection if you didn’t do anything to draw excessive attention to yourself like talking too much about home while at school and keep a small set of friends.

    THE BOTTOM LINE COMES IN:
    If a student transfers in to a new school and there’s probable cause he or she did it for athletic purposes then the student/athlete has to sit out Athletics for one entire school year. A tough pill to swallow but this is the way we must go. I love athletics as much as the next guy, but it can not over-ride academics and we must come up with a conctete solution that take us back to square one……..

    ******Please do not try that deal with the phone book for your future address requirements and if you do, tell them you came up with the idea from Ma or Pa Bell.*****

    +++++Do you have to show your driver’s license to receive your school parking pass?????+++++

  • notaschoolboardfan said,

    Noparents……if this is true…. in my opinion…Mo Green should resign..this is no way to handle a situation like this..and I think everyone would agree

  • Sue Yu said,

    All this guy ever talks about is suing over this and suing over that. Give me a break. You have NO legal grounds to sue over anything, especially the title. You are simply wasting your money and giving false hope to these kids. What attorney is going to take this case? Lionel Hutz from the Simpsons? Better bake some more cookies and print up some more t-shirts for the judge and jury.

  • OTL said,

    I did see Outside The Lines and thought the same thing. It is a great point and it shows that this problem is deeper than just going to a school with good coaches but connected coaches that can help get kids to D1 schools or an even bigger prize pro ball. It is time to move on. Let those that want to sue spend the money. In the end it will be a hugh waste of time, money, and effort. But those representing these people will certainly appreciate the money. However, all of the whinning about spending moeny on an investigation from postings days or weeks ago must not apply now.

  • Question said,

    Where in the interview does it say he will sue? I don’t see that at all and haven’t heard him say it on TV or in the newspaper. Maybe the parents and GCS employees that resigned will sue but Coach K. hasn’t said anything about it. Perhaps you should read the article before spewing your venom. that might save everybody some heartache.

  • Basketball Fan said,

    What “no parent” said is true. And all Mo Green could say was, “it should have been handled differently but it is what it is” Im surprised he didnt use his ever popular line, “my decision is debateable” For a guy who boasts about what he did in Charlotte, he has handled this investigation like an amateur. To give decisions like this to kids without their parent/legal guardian present is low and it shows that he is not for the kids. And to again do this around exam time is laughable. And this is a person who is in charge of our schools? Our schools are made up of KIDS and if you dont put their best interest first then why be in the position to begin with? Of course he talk “around” that question during the meeting last week. He couldnt wait until AP exams were over? Those kids did NOT need that distraction right before an important test. Also to cancel a tutoring session for a “faculty meeting” shows who he puts first. Northern parents have every right to complain and show their dissatisfaction. The way this was handled proved that you are guilty first and you yourself have to prove your innocence.

  • admin said,

    Outside Looking N – It was determined that the baseball coach had been involved in no wrongdoing. The player from Grimsley was found to be within the guidelines for eligibility.

  • really? said,

    admin-
    your response states:
    ” It was determined that the baseball coach had been involved in no wrongdoing. The player from Grimsley was found to be within the guidelines for eligibility”.
    It’s truly amazing you have this inside information because “GCS will not disclose or confirm the names of the athletes declared ineligible because student records are considered confidential under state and federal law. Personnel records are also confidential.”
    I guess everyone will know this fall who was not eligible depending on what school they show up at this time.
    Private or public?
    My guess it will be private.

  • Andy said,

    We are all one big Nation here.

    Don’t destroy the Nation by making personal attack comments directed at students or their parents. We have already had to take down a few comments today. If those attack comments come in and we feel it necessary, we will delete them.

    We have what seems to be a very good discussion going on here and if you have any problems or issues with this subject please feel free to contact me at durhamandy@live.com……

    Thanks for your help,
    Andy Durham

  • BIGstud said,

    Is it true that Coach K will be coaching at Dudley next year? Thats AWESOME! With a capital “A “BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

  • Summerfield Citizen said,

    Question? Any lawyers out there? How is domicile determined in the case of joint custody?

  • BeenThroughTheProcess said,

    I guess I am familiar with a few of the things in question with this incident. Once upon a time, I didn’t own a house in Guilford County. I was the LEGAL guardian of a kid who now stands 6’7″ with an incredible handle and great range on his jump shot. Guilford County was where I needed to be to continue my higher education, but I had to make a decision on which school in GC gave my kid the greatest opportunity for success. Like most parents, I knew my child. I searched the internet, looking @ school report cards from various sites. I settled on the Southeast section of the county based upon those report cards. At this time, my kid was a rising 8th grader. SEMS looked over my court documents thoroughly & after my cousins made through his 8th grade year, these documents were looked at again before he ever went to a shoot around. He was still in 8th grade! The AD just wanted to dot his i’s and cross his t’s.

    I know that as parents, we want the best for our children. I realize that I may have had the financial means to take my kid wherever he needed to go to get that opportunity. That being said….rules are in place. Whether you break them knowingly or not, it doesn’t matter. Accept the punishment for breaking those rules. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    I will agree that highschool AD’s don’t have the time to thoroughly investigate every kid that plays highschool athletics, but I do think they are smart enough to investigate those athletes that can potentially cause them problems.

    -A Basketball team is made up of how many players?

    –You know that your team is being coached by arguably one of the best AAU coaches in the area

    -You know he’s the type of coach that kids want to play for and parents want their kids to play for whether he recruits them or not.

    -You know that he has RUMORS following him of recruiting whether substantiated or not.

    -You have a lot transfers looking to play basketball.

    I don’t buy that the AD was clueless. I think every AD in GC knows that when they get a Game Changer or Game Changers enrolling in their school, they better make sure their ducks are in a row no matter the sport. Success, no matter how it is earned, has its enemies. I can’t stand UKE. He should have known that his program was bound to get looked at. I think the AD here made & that choice cost him.

  • notaschoolboardfan said,

    Summerfield citizen… It’s where the kid spends the most time. But how do you prove it…..this will be argued in court..and Mo better have concrete evidence or he’s got problems…just my opinion

  • GCS School board's BIGGEST fan said,

    Notaschoolboardfan,

    Are you Coach K’s spokesperson or attorney? Have you ever heard of the term “summary judgement”? You might wanna inform your client to research that one and not get too far ahead of himself……….

    As for BIG Stud,

    I doubt Coach Kowaleski will be seen anywhere near a Guilford County public hs for awhile. He would do best to re-open the Veritas Sports Academy

  • "ol bawl coach" said,

    Veritas Sports Academy ! That’s it,it fits everything,the criteria, academics K needs for “his boys” to play ball; seems like the logical choice to me.

  • jake said,

    The only problem with K and Veritas is Veritas is a Christian school. I doubt Coach K’s morals and language would be a good fit there.

  • notaschoolboardfan said,

    In todays paper…The NAACP has just met with 16 parents from Northern Guilford and have found disturbing things about the way the investigation was conducted.

  • uh? said,

    notaschoolboardfan,

    SO?