GCS Releases Results of Athletics Investigation at Northern High

*****I made my way down to the Guilford County Schools main office this evening and picked up a copy of the the press release that was distributed during tonight’s press conference.*****

Five athletes at the school in five different sports were declared ineligible

Greensboro, N.C. – Guilford County Schools (GCS) announced today that the Northern High School varsity boys basketball team must forfeit its state championship.

The decision was made after two basketball players were declared ineligible and after the district determined that school officials had not properly monitored the program.

GCS also announced that the schoolâ€s varsity wrestling, baseball, junior varsity (JV) softball and JV cheerleading teams had also played ineligible athletes.

As a result, the varsity baseball team must forfeit its season and wonâ€t be allowed to advance to the state tournament this weekend.

The varsity wrestling team will forfeit every match in which an ineligible athlete competed, and the team score will be recalculated to determine whether the match will be recorded as a loss or a win. The junior varsity softball team will forfeit every game in which an ineligible athlete participated. Junior varsity cheerleading did not compete in any events sanctioned by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, which governs high school sports.

In all, five athletes at the school in five different sports were declared ineligible as a result of the investigation, which district officials say will now look at football and other sports at Northern. The NCHSAA is placing the entire athletic program at Northern on probation for one year.

The announcements were made today at the request of the NCHSAA because team notifications for the state baseball and softball tournaments were due yesterday.

GCS reported the violations to the NCHSAA Tuesday. The state association agreed with the districtâ€s findings and will assess any penalties against the school and the athletes.

According to the state association, falsifying residency in order to meet eligibility requirements carries a 365-day penalty for student athletes. If school officials fail to manage eligibility requirements properly, teams are also penalized.

The state association penalty for using an ineligible player is $500 per team. Since Northern reported the violations, the penalty has been reduced to $250 per team or $1,250. Northern must also return any playoff revenue from gate receipts for basketball – about $7,828, according to the NCHSAA. Any awards, plaques or medals awarded to the team or players will have to be returned.

Releases Results of Athletics Investigation at Northern High – page 2

The investigation began shortly after Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Greenâ€s arrival in August in Greensboro, when allegations of impropriety at Northern began surfacing during his “listening and learning” tour of the community.

At a parent meeting held last week at Northern, Green said the investigation was simply a “search for the truth.”

“Sadly, the search for the truth led us to where we are today,” said Green. “Itâ€s deeply unfortunate that young people are being hurt in this process, including the vast majority of student athletes and their families at Northern who are playing by the rules and have done
nothing wrong.”

Green said he plans to overhaul athletics at Northern and district-wide. “This kind of behavior simply wonâ€t be tolerated,” said Green. “We want our student athletes to demonstrate excellence in character as well as excellence on the field or on the court. We want all of our programs to be above reproach.”

Students and staff at the school should continue to “hold their heads high,” according to Green. “Northern is an excellent school with tremendous community support. While this is a difficult blow, my hope is that the students, families, staff and community will rally around the new principal and work through the healing process together.”

William “Will” Laine was named principal of Northern yesterday. Laine currently is principal of Kernodle Middle School, where his collaborative leadership style and strong focus on academic excellence has earned accolades from teachers and parents. Laine will remain at Kernodle through June 15, although he will begin meeting with Northern students, staff and parents later this month.

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.

To read the letter from the NCHSAA, click here


  1. I’m A Dudley fan for life but I think it’s a shame how the school system is doing Northern.Dudley has dominated the area for years and years, who’s to say they don’t have ineligible players .Now all of a sudden Northern has won a championship they want to strip their title.I say make the ineligible players or the school pay a fine and take it from there.Don’t punish the Nighthawk community for 2 basketball players crap.They have suffered enough!Let the rivalry continue!

    Northern/Dudley Football
    September 4th 7:30
    Tarpley Stadium

  2. I was shocked to see actual facts released from this investigation. I thought they had gotten the resignations they wanted and we were going to get some legalese as the outcome. As a parent of a Northern Guilford athlete, the use of ineligible players cannot be tolerated. I don’t have any issue with any penalties that will be levied against the program. Our parents and athletes will learn from this terrible situation. All this being said, we are still proud of our school and all of the kids who attend it.
    It sounds like the ineligible players gave false addresses. How do adequately police this? People have indicated that this is the principal’s and AD’s responsibility. They can’t possibly investigate every child that signs up for the school. The parent and child should be punished more severely than the schools. A friend of mine came up with a good idea. Make every parent of every athlete sign an affidavit that they live in the district. If they are caught in an investigation like this, the will be the responsible parties.
    Should we go after all of the other schools in the county? We all know that this is going on all over this county. I don’t think it is worth it. We are laying off teachers. We don’t need to spend anymore money to placate some parents who feel they have been wronged. I feel sorry for all of the people who are reveling in Northern’s pain. Most of them do realize that the same thing is happening in their own backyard. The punishment that Northern is receiving will act as deterrent for other schools. Let this nightmare end.





  4. page is guilty, northwest guilty, dudley needs to do some house keeping because they are currently under investigation. the rules will be change and with dudley moving to 4a they will become just another high school atheleticly, without the ability to gather kids from all over the county they will be an average high school just like they were in the 70s and 80s. dudley historically was a team that all back up players got to run. don’t forget mo is after the truth, and the truth is that the rules surrounding the academy are taylor made for recruiting and manipulating the spirit of the rules, better warm up that humble pie and getting use to being just a good workout again

  5. I’m curious after seeing the press conference last night. Are the students in question banned from all NC sports for a year or just Guilford County. In looking at the NCHSAA rules it should be in the state. So any athlete looking to play next year would have to go in to a private school or go to another state. Can anyone clarify that question?

  6. I disagree that the Principal, AD and Coach cannot police the residence of their athletes.

    Two years ago Ragsdale had a football player transfer in from outside the County. Everyone knew he was new. Everyone knew a kid had transferred in. The Principal not only made sure he had all the paperwork, the proper bills at the address but she also visited the house where he said he lived. At the time the kid and the father were just moving in as the father was getting remarried. The principal had some questions since some of their belongings were still at the old residence. Instead of giving it her approval, she told the kid he could not play in the 1st game until they were completely moved in to the new address and she was convinced they lived in district. It turned out to not be an issue but she refused to let the possibility of one kid’s residence jeopardize it for the rest of the team. If the administration had taken this approach Northern probably would not be where they are today. Yeager, Force and K had a history of this. It didn’t have to be this way for Northern. Principals, AD’s and Coaches check our residency every year. It can be done.

  7. Elaine, how can you say that they would have won without the players, unless they were the guys that didnt play a lot? Since we dont know the names of the ineligible players, your point appears to be invalid, unless you can offer us some names.

    Looking at the players on that team, I would bet my last nickel that both of those ineligible players started, or played starter minutes…There’s a strong consensus that says Page may have won the championship if Chris McCain would have stayed at Page. They beat Mt Tabor once without him, and Mt Tabor won the state 4A championship..

  8. If Northern would have won without the ineligible players on its roster, why did they have them on the roster. The old saying, “there’s no I in TEAM” shows that if one is illegal all are illegal.

  9. I’m assuming that the principal and AD were asked to resign because they knew about the illegal players and still allowed them to play. If they were truly ignorant then they didn’t do anything wrong. Their resignations show that there is most likely proof of wrongdoing.

  10. This discussion seems to be carrying on in a positive direction. Things have not gotten inflamatory and I give you folks credit for your solid comments.

    We have Northern parents and parents/students from all schools contributing in a responsible manner.

    Thank-you for keeping it that way.

  11. I don’t think this should be arule. If you play any large 4A team from some countys in NC they are aloud to go any where and get players as long as they have a ride to the school. If guilford county is the only county doing this then it is not fair to the larger schools. Maybe we need to make sure the hole state is playing by the rules, or may the rule by the amount of students are in the school. If you are a A or AA with the amount of students then you can not but if you are a AAA or AAAA big A you need to change that rule.

    The dudley why is cheeting just as moving in to the area and renting a house in that area you are paying a price to let your child go to that school is not cheeting.

    If I owed two or even three houses in different areas in school I do not think anyone can tell me which house to life in and send my children to what school.

    If you have a great coach that does his job in any sport I think I would sell my house and move to what ever school area I wanted to go to and no one can stop my child from going to that school.

    It should be if the coach does his job and then student athelets does his/her job to get a scholarship they should be able to go to that school. The parent are wanting a good coach that will help them get into college. Wat is so wrong with the great coach and the help to get you child in to college?

  12. Lets get off the basketball. Whats done is done. First a no class guy was in charge of the program. This is not the first time he has been asked to leave a team. But you have football coaches telling kids that if they play football for northern they will get them college scholarships. Hey parents if your kid dosen’t get a scholarships sue the coaches
    for failure to deliver.

  13. On the wall,

    I don’t understand why you said.. “page is guilty?”
    Guilty of what?

  14. Rumor is a Northern football coach was escorted out of the football offices at NC State recently for trying to score a job by gauranteeing that a particular player would go there. Coach O’Brien being a sound individual had him escorted out. I bet this coach is hurting these players more than he is helping them.

  15. Okay… what examples are the parents and the adults who coaches these kids setting for them…. I am a teacher at Northern.. and I must say that I am amazed at how narrow minded and/or entitled this parents and students are who is being so disrespectful to our superintendent (especially after most complain so badly about Terry Grier— what would make you people happy)… it is a tough lesson, but if I knew what was going on, because the kids committing the dirty deeds are talking, then , the coaches knew and Yeager knew… parents, students, coaches, and Yeager knew it was wrong… the remainder of the parents(who children plays with these other ineligible students) should not be upset with Superintendent Green…. Yeager, Coach Force, and Stan derailed your child’s high school career…. if you research the man so many of you are backing, you will find he has be accused doing the same thing at HP Central where Yeager was the principal… but because Yeager and Grier were golf buddies… it was covered…. and at tonight’s meeting, parents looked like raging idiots… going off on tangents… saying the same thing and just so disrespectful… I want to applaude Dr. Spicer, Superintendent Green, and the rest of the staff who are setting GOOD examples for these students… who talks with them and try to guid them in the right direction of reasoning, because it is not being done at home… Guys it is a bitter lesson, but you got caught… own up to it… take your lumps… Lets move on, you have exams coming up… and you must redirect you focus… Any other time our PTSA is all over the place… how about setting examples for the other parents… and design a plan to accept this ugly smear and move on…. because tonight I actually was sadden by the actions of these adults…. talk to your kids and be positive

  16. luckily grimsley baseball wont be affected by this investigation…coach jason simmons is running all of the out of district kids out anyways. he has made it so that many kids, mostly seniors, do not want to play at grimsley anymore. i even heard a rumor that he specifically told an out of district player to go to his district school. grimsley baseball is going down the tube right now. bottom line… GET AL BACK TO GRIMSLEY!!!!
    -This whole situation at NG is a shame, but everyone needs to get over it and get ready for next season whether it be football, basketball, or baseball.

  17. Deary nghs INSIDER,
    I am a member of the PTSA and I was at the meeting, sitting quietly and listening politely. I am not sure what could have been done about people shouting out. This was not a PTSA event, it was called by Mr. Green. Would you suggest that those outspoken parents be asked to leave? Would that not have caused a bigger mess? I understand their emotions are running wild, but I too, didn’t agree with speaking out and disruption.
    The PTSA is planning a We Are Northern activity the last day in May. We believe in our kids and our school. Speaking only for myself, I work hard at raising funds to help our academic necessities and do alot of volunteering. We have a PTSA board meeting on Tuesday and I would be glad to take any suggestions to our board. Please let me know what you think would help.

  18. Nights Insider,
    I am an insider and a teacher too and I am almost certain that coach Force and Stan did NOT know. (ok in one case they had an idea, but they had a NOTARIZED statement from the parents that was a lie – that isn’t their fault). I have no idea about Yeager. The school system didn’t even prove they knew – only that they “should’ have known. Maybe the kids were not talking about it in front of the AD. Force asked the staff repeatedly to come to him if they had any information (and not to go to the paper, which was later reported by idiots on the staff as a threat). If you knew, why didn’t YOU report it to the AD?? Where is your responsiblity in this? And you are lecturing the parents who are upset and support these men? Give me a break.

  19. The last thing that Grimsley needs is AA. They might be in this investigation if he was still there.

  20. Ok, based on the last text, maybe you should be lecturing the parents – I didn’t go to the meeting.

  21. Elaine,

    Your comments are so off base it is rediculous. Yes the WHOLE TEAM gets punished and rightfully so because of the two ineligble players. Yes it’s a shame for the basketball players who were at Northern legally, just like it’s a shame for the baseball players who just lost out on a playoff bid because of one inelgible player.

    You break the rules you get caught you pay the price.

    Another thing is it’s very naive to assume aome of the players that were legal didn’t know they had some team mates living outside the lines.

    And as for Coach K – he needs to get over himself. The more he opens his mouth the further any respect I have for him drops.

  22. Dear Northern Guilford Insider,
    You may be a teacher and an insider @ NGHS but I have 3 comments for your initial post—-

    1) Joe Yeager was never principal @ High Point Central.
    2) Neither he nor Derrell Force plays golf, so they are probably not golfing buddies.
    3) If you are truly a teacher @ NGHS, I hope you are not an English teacher!

    Have a nice day!

  23. While people from other schools complained about what was happening at Northern, the County had complaints from other coaches at Northern on what was going on. Strange how they would know what was happening but the AD and Principal would not. Possible but not likely.

    Some of you may want to research the details on how K left Bishop and especially HP Central.

    Sounds like Jason Simmons is doing his job. If the Northern coaches had done the same maybe they would not be in this situation.

  24. grimsley has seven players on the baseball team that are there from out of district, may be legal, maybe not

  25. I was at the meeting last night and many parents were being disrespectful. A lot of them are getting frustrated because Mr. Greene will not answer the most important questions. He can’t because he doesn’t want to open the school system to a lawsuit. The saddest thing about this meeting is that the parents are going to try and bring the other schools down with them. They are going to send their allegations about the other schools to Mr. Greene. This may get ugly. We all know that this is happening at a lot of the Guilford County schools. It has been for years. For all of the people in this county that have incorrectly stated their domicile, you may be declared ineligible at some point in the future. Pandora’s box is open and there is no way to shut it.
    I would like to see it stop now. I don’t want the county to waste another dime on this investigation. Northern got caught. Northern got punished. That should be enough. From what I saw last night, it is not going to stop anytime soon.

  26. So what happens to the illegal players now. Are they going to continue to play for Northern or go back to their assigned schools? Do the schools want them back to disrupt their teams? Just one note the Football coach has had this reputation since coming from SC. (Hope I haven’t offended the grammer and spelling police.)

  27. Joe,
    Everyone knew the kids were transferring in. That isn’t the question. The question is are they doing it legally? For example, Robert Bell reported in this mornings paper that 8 students transfered in from NE. They had a legal right to do it – it was their district. Also, people move – nothing you can do. When parents lie, that is a different issue. I think it is harder to prove. Think about it – it took this team over six weeks to find 5 illegal players. If it is that easy and obvious, the people downtown must be pretty stupid.
    I am not saying that nothing was wrong – From what I know Lawson obviously shouldn’t have been hired. But that isn’t what they gthey got them on. They got them on 5 ineligible players. You can find that at a lot of schools. Was it really worth hanging Mr. Yeager and Force? Was is really worth disrupting the entire school in April. Couldn’t someone have figured out a better, more appropriate way to handle this? I realize that many teachers don’t like Joe, but No body can come up with proof that he knew where the kids were living and did nothing (like the Page administration).
    And there was no scandal when Stan left HP – he came with Force.
    No, I don’t think they should go in and create havoc at the other schools. Everyone knows they can go in with a team, investigate for 6 weeks, and find ineligible players. I want them to acknowledge that it was handled badly and these men were treated terribly, whether you like them or not.

    For those teachers defending these interrogation techniques, just don’t go downtown with out an attorney. Next ime it could be you.

  28. I like how Tom has handled this situation at Northern Guilford and I wish others would follow his lead.

    The entire staff at NG needs to take a page out of Tom’s playbook and run with it.

    Good job Tom and from what I have been hearing the players that have been or will be determined ineligilbe will have to return to their original schools.

    Will they play there? That question is still on the table in more ways than one.

  29. Something good that may come from this is other schools will not want what has happened to Northern to happen to them. Nor will educators/coaches want their career smeared by a scandal. I’m betting administrators at schools watch things more closely and schools do a better job of policing themselves. Think about it, would you jeopardize your career or retirement for a 16 year old kid?

  30. For what it’s worth, my interpretation of Force and Kowalewski’s responses to e-mails was that they told people who inquired that there were certain procedures that needed to be followed rather than they were recruiting. maybe I am missing something or just not quite as smart as some of the others who have this whole thing figured out.
    Aside from athletics, Guilford county has a “mess” in their schools. Superintendents in this county are like city and county managers—-they can’t please the population no matter how theey try, and they just keep “screwing up”, getting fired, replaced, and then we have the same problems.
    Guilford county is out-of-control and there is no end in sight.
    If you were a company wanting to relocate and saw all the turmoil, would you come here if there were other choices? WE had better wake up or we will soon be living in a second-rate county like several that we currently share boundaries with.
    Just my opinion!

  31. You must be in a coma, Will Friday. The previous principal was at HPC and most everyone knows that there were some golf outings with the previous super. He may not play good. I can not speak about that unless I say probably. But, I did notice you used probably, so you are speculating. Which is the primary problem with most these postings. It is a lot of guessing and speculation.
    Forgive may spelling my English teacher was not that great and I went to school in Guilford county.
    We need to let this thing settle down and move on to the business of educating the next generation.

  32. To Wake up Friday—-
    You are completely wrong! Joe Yeager was never the principal @ High Point Central. I am not in a coma, though some people have questioned my ability to control myself when I have to deal with people who do not have a clue what they are talking about. Am I doing better?

  33. Never there mon ami. You are totally misinformed or even otherwise. Reminds me of the Jack Nicholson/Tom Cruise exchange.

  34. I have a friend who was a teacher at High Point Central who said that Mr. Yeager was his principal or perhaps it was his asst. principal. Also, I am certain that I read it in print somewhere as well quite some time ago, perhaps in the News and Record.

  35. Friday thinks it is still Thursday and is clueless. He is grossly misinformed, make assumptions and obviously jumps to conclusions. The previous principal at NG was in fact principal at HPC. I can tell you how many years he was there ifanyone cares to know. I am just proving that this person in not truly informed. He needs to do much more homework on this subject.

  36. Get A Grip why not tell the kids that are out of district to go back to their home school? That was the dumbest statement on this thread. I would rather lose with the kids that are in district than win with the kids out of district.

  37. Joe Y. was the Principal at HPC. Just ask the Media Specialist, Curriculum Facilitator at Northern. They worked for Joe at HPC. He worked at Admin. after HPC and before Northern. Joe worked for three to four years before Northern opened researching curriculum opportunites and high schools that work across the country. He had a team of volunteer teachers who helped with these decisions.

  38. On another note, if NGHS Insider is a teacher at my child’s high school, I am scared! What happenrd to basic subject/verb agreement, etc. I’m sure he/she is a fine PE teacher, but please tell me you don’t teach English!

  39. what everyone is not understanding is if you are no good, you can go to any school you want. If you are good you will be investigated. The good players will cause problems no matter whether they play at their neighborhood school, or transfer, or lie about where they live because it is the parents of the kids that are no good that complain about playing time – even if he has lived in the same house for 50 years, if little Johnny does not get to play something has to change – fire the coach he plays favorites to the kid that hits 10 homers and pitches and plays short – your kid sucks!!! Let it go!

  40. NEW RULE

    If you coach a AAU sports team then you will not be able to coach a High School Sports Team. This will solve a lot of the problems, especially what happened at Northern.

    Here is a few questions nobody has answered.

    How many 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?

    There has been a lot of silence about Northern football and as we have seen from last year in Kenan Allen from Grimsley to Northern was a shocker , is this the next program to get more scrutiny or will there be a warning to all athletes who are not in district to leave after this year before football season starts.

  41. grimsley89,
    you are losing with a load of baseball players that are out of district

  42. hey new rule – that is a great solution eliminate the coaches that are actually qualified to coach. The reason all these problems exist is there are so many bad coaches and bad schools. Better new rule – do not let any faculty coach, make all coaches be experienced good coaches from club teams. Then the athletes that care about sports would not be taking instructions from science and gym teaches just looking to make 2000.00 extra bucks. The good club coaches would coach for nothing and they would work for the athletes to get them to college. THE PROBLEM WITH HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS IS COACH K IS NOT COACHING NOW, COACH ASH IS NOT COACHING NOW – ETC ETC. AND YOU WANT MORE FACULTY COACHES – WHAT A JOKE

  43. Ask how many of these club coaches set out the dead periods that is required of all high school coaches by the state system. These times are prime club soccer, baseball and basketball tournament times. Just another violation that can cause the coaches to forfiet games and titles. Club coaches are hired to win and and only. They are allowed to steal or recruit any player from any program for the sake of winning. They threaten players and parent who want to make a move. Club coaches as high school head coaches is a setup for big problems.

  44. so what someone has to win, might as well be the good coach that brings in his players and cares about them getting to the next level. As long as they move into the school the correct way. The number one reason people buy homes in certain locations is the school district that they attend. Students are always want to go to the best school, athletes are going to want to play for the best coach and program. I would love to see how many people on this board are still working at the McDonalds they worked at in high school, or did they try and get better jobs and get paid more money. This is life people every playing field is not always equal – just get a life and deal with it. The only complaint here should be about how parents are getting into these programs – it is not the coaches fault or GCS fault. If they are moving in great, if they are moving in for special classes that the rules allow – change the rules or deal with it.

  45. why is it a problem,

    I guess this situation is way above your level of thinking. So, consider your thought process a problem to society.

    Have you asked yourself why this basketball coach is the only one that they let go when there were other inelligible players in some of the other sports? This should be a great example to any person reading up on this story (including those as unintelligent as you) to know that there was more to this that what has been brought out to the media. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. Plus, it sounds like you are a little behind in this situation, because no one is arguing about where people are moving to. If he is a great coach, and everyone wanted to move into the NG district, then so be it. However, the admin part of all this was not handled properly and there was other things that has taken place that you are not aware of yet.

    Also, all I kept hearing from the parents of these transfers was that they were transferring for the academics. So, now they are ready to high tail it out of there for the basketball. WOW! I guess it proves that they didn’t move into the district just for the academics, or else they would be staying.

  46. new rule you said this”THE PROBLEM WITH HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS IS COACH K IS NOT COACHING NOW, COACH ASH IS NOT COACHING NOW – ETC ETC. AND YOU WANT MORE FACULTY COACHES – WHAT A JOKE” and that is the main reason why they are in this situation to begin with.

  47. do you know why it is dumb to tell an out of district baseball player to go back to his district at grimsley? because the best players at grimsley are out of district!!!!! the rest are just the mediocre ones. so, unless simmons wants grimsley baseball to keep getting worse, he should be doing everything to try to keep the out of district ones at grimsley.




  49. I am the parent of an out-of-district player. We are out for the academics – her district has a horrible academics record and an even worse student conduct record. I wanted my child to have opportunities and be challenged in a positive learning environment. They just also happen to play sports. Should this kid be forced to attend a school that cannot meet the academic needs just because of the sports or should they be allowed to attend a school that meets those needs and play the sports? What about the High IQ Bowl? Are those kids questioned about district? Aren’t there more academic scholarships available than athletic? We cannot afford to move nor do we want to leave a home we love and have been in for 17 years, but we want what is best for our child and are doing what we have to do to ensure a positive high school experience. Oh – I will NOT give my name, my childs name, sport or school – don’t even ask!

Comments are closed.