GCS Completes Athletic Investigation at Northern High

from the Guilford County Schools site at www.gcsnc.com:

Seven additional athletes in four sports declared ineligible

Seven student-athletes at Northern High School were declared ineligible today by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). Guilford County Schools (GCS) officials completed their investigation into athletic eligibility issues at the school late last week and reported their findings to the NCHSAA on Thursday. The athletes participated in varsity football, junior varsity football, varsity men’s swimming, varsity and junior varsity baseball, and men’s track.

In each sport except varsity and junior varsity baseball, school officials applied appropriate or “reasonable scrutiny” in determining the students’ athletic eligibility, the NCHSAA found. As a result, the junior varsity team must pay a $500 fine and forfeit any games in which the athlete dressed out. That fine was reduced to $250 for self-reporting. Since the varsity baseball team had already forfeited its season due to an earlier eligibility violation, the team was not punished further.

According to the NCHSAA, entire teams are punished only if school officials – principals, coaches and athletic directors – violate the rules or fail to provide a “reasonable” amount of oversight and due diligence in determining a student’s athletic eligibility. If student-athletes or their parents/legal guardians violate the rules, the student-athletes are penalized by having their athletic eligibility revoked for 365 days. They also have to return any medals, points or awards.

In total, 12 student-athletes in 10 sports at Northern have been found ineligible since the probe by the district began last fall. Last year, 653 student-athletes competed on 37 teams at Northern. The entire school was placed on probation last spring by the NCHSAA for a one-year period, which means Northern teams may still compete but will be monitored closely by the organization for the 2009-10 school year. The findings released today are considered part of the original investigation and do not affect the length of the probationary period.

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  1. does that mean that the case is closed now? Or, is there still an open investigation into the other issues??

  2. From inside the washroom at the Guiford County Schools central office:

    Mo Green declined Monday to comment on investigations into the Page and Dudley high athletic programs.

  3. A couple of articles ago in the News and Record, the paper asked GCS lawyer about the invesigation into boys basketball coach misappropriation of funds. She said she would review the documents the coach turned in as evidence defending himself before she made a decision regarding turning him over to the DA’s office for misapprpriation or US Attorney Office to look at the tax exempt account issue, but before she even got to that, she had to finish the investigation into Northern so students would know where they had to go to school next year and if they were eligible. Now that Northern investigation is complete, will she look at Dudley and Page next or go after the basketball coach next. I think that check writing issue is far from done. I have heard that she will turn her full attention to that situation after the ineligibility investigation is complete. However, they also have to look into the Page eligibility issue and that may take precedence over the basketball coach issue. Will be interesting to see what she tackles next. All of this must be costing a lot of money. Sure is taking a long time, so I imagine it is costing a lot of money.

  4. Hey, we’ve got lot sof money for these escapades. This has to be among the most dysfunctional counties in America. We had about 4 city managers in 5 years, god knows how many police chiefs, a county commissioner who has filed for bankruptcy and still tells us how to handle fiscal policy, a school system that is “pissing” thousands of dollars on this investigation, people like Shirley Morrisson and Angelo Kidd who are just “punching their tickets” by not making any waves, and the list goes on. I wish this were all being done for the right reasons!

  5. I find it interesting that the city attorney had one child that went to Grimsley while living in the Page district. I’m sure it was in the child”s best interest and there were great reasons. I just think it”s ironic. I really believe she is painting herself into a corner. One slip up and the county’s people well have her head. (recommended reading “How To Win Friends And Influence People.”) Great job cleaning up the jv cheerleading team. I would also love to see some test scores published on the fine learning institution “The Academy at Dudley”. Everything that I have seen is laughable.

  6. Hey Pat!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you looked at the scores from Northern? You might want to look at their scores before you start pointing fingers. I’m not from the area so I could care less one way or antoher but from reading this blogs some NG supporters want to bring other school into the problems that existed at NG.

  7. This fight is obviously not over.

    These power moves are recruiting more people to take sides, creating a more divided city.
    It is quite natural for a parent to support their kids. It is quite natural for a community to
    support their neighbors.

    Northern Guilford Community vs Guilford County School System.

    1 win(Coach Kowalewski has Coaching Job) vs 2 wins( Successfully Stripped Northern’s Title)
    (Put entire school on probation)

    Gossip is that Oak Ridge is fielding calls Nationwide about attending its school.
    Kids that want to reclass as they do in Texas, Florida, New York and California in Football, Basketball and Baseball. If this happens I would say the score would be 2 vs 2. And the ball
    would be in GCS court to try and get another win.

  8. The wild thing about this whole situation is that if you go to a school out of district,which is a violation of GCS policy, but DO NOT play sports, you will not be dsiciplined. If you are gonna make rules for everyone then enforce them on everyone.

    It’s ok for a kid to go to a certain school to get a better opportunity at obtaining an academic scholarship, against the policy, but not a better opportunity for a student athlete to obtain an athletic schorlarship. Wake up people we are not speaking of some dumb jock who is a man among boys on the field and an infadel in the class room. Some of the student athletes had just as good if not better grades than their counterparts but they also played a sport.

    What about the band member who goes to Dudley (just an example cause their band is the best in the triad) because they are gifted and have a better opportunity to obtain a band schorlorship there than at Western Guilford (the band has always sucked. sorry). Their is no difference in the two. I’m not saying either is more wrong or right than the other but what I am saying is for GCS to be fair across the board. Be consistant is enforcing the rules. Don’t focus in on one group and seemingly give the others a free pass. Don’t not mess with one place simply because it would cause political uproar when they play their card. Just be fair and people will respect you.

  9. To CoachKnow,

    If Coach K is fielding calls from players from all these different areas, then that is great news…I hope he gets them, so that he can leave the Guilford County kids alone…

  10. I have a smeaking suspicion that some of these ineligible students did not go to Northern for the express purpose of participating in cheerleading, swimming, etc.

    Illegal and ineligible is illegal and ineligible but some (most?) went to NG for academic or social or “new school” reasons. This isnt simply an athletic issue. Obviosuly some did but let’s all be real and honest here.

    Been There Done That is right. The issue isnt just athletics but band, academics, etc are all involved.

  11. As I have said all along, this is not just a Northern issue. It happens at all of the bigger schools in the county. If they investigate Dudley, Grimsley and Page, they will find about the same number of ineligible athletes. Is it really worth the money? It has been this way in this county for at least the last 15 years. Northern made the big mistake of winning the state championship in its second year with a starting lineup that did not live in the Northern district prior to 2007. Please let this end. Starting with this year’s team, the county could enforce their new policies.

  12. From the point of view of this site, it seems like there is still a bit of mystery surrounding all of this, but we have had very little if any contact with ORMA since they announced their changes last week.

    Probably hard to do, but it’s time to start looking at the upcoming fall seasons and to make sure we are set to go with the new school year. We seem to be tied pretty heavy with the educational system format here, so we will try to stay tight with all that is going on.

    Moving on with an eye on the sky and still asking why?

    Andy Durham

  13. its really sad to see posts about are these investigations worth the time and money. is it ok for people to steal or committ crimes. thats the road we are portraying to be ok if someone doesnt take this serious. this is life right and wrong. as an educational system students are suppose to prepare themselves for their for life not being taught to cheat. and the sadest part is adults are the root of this all.

  14. Realdeal, you nailed it, especially the last sentence.

    Pat, when the lawyers child was in school they lived in district. This has been discussed before and cleared up. What you are going off is rumor. Her kid was in district at the time she was in school.

    Coachknow, no one is keeping score here. There is no game here. Coach K cannot at this time get a job at a public school. Maybe one day. Him getting hired by a desperate school trying to stay afloat should tell you what he can get at this time. people seem to think this thing is not over and the fight is still on. The only thing left is for the school board decisions to be carried out. They’ll be no lawsuits from K, no titles given back, it’s over.

    Northern will recover from this quicker than people think. It’s a good school and over time people will want to live in that district and send their kids to school there. Northern will be fine. I look forward to all this being put to bed and let all the kids get on with what should be some of the best years of their life.

  15. My grandfather always said:

    If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you’re getting! Depending on what side you are on, in the case with sports, it affects more than one person. The in distric kid who worked his behind off may not get a spot when they bring some D-1 prospect in from out of district. Yes, the kid learn about the unfairness of life but his hard work isn’t paying off. However, those who wantonly cheat and break rules then arrogantly challenge others to catch them if they can; those people deserve more than tit for tat because they negatively affected a kid’s life taking away opportunity and time that can never be recovered.

    I wholeheartedly support open enrollment as long as in district kids have first dibs and the out of district child has a 3.0+ average. this way the new school is getting a scholar athlete and the kid does not depend 100% on sports. I fear we are teaching the wrong message. Yes, Stan can attract the best kids but his track record is suspect at best. Just change the school – put him at Page (imagine Page only 2 years old) in the same scenario and think if you’d be so gung ho supportive. Lortimer said ” It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to make sure you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” Let’s hope these kids have not lost that innocence because once you show them how to bend stretch and disregard the rules, AND they are successful and rewarded for doing just that – what or who (besides the cemetary or prison) will stop them from continuing and escalating?

  16. I am just calling it from my perspective. This is a duel between
    Mr Mo Green and Coach Stan Kowalewski.

    It has nothing to do with sports, and where students live. This is payback.
    Stan Kowalewski files lawsuit against Northwest AD John Huges.

    Somone has to teach that rich bully he can’t walk over everyone. So the Guilford County
    School System bring their players into play. We can’t touch him legally so we get him
    with the basketball. It is dear to his heart. Northern gets behind him. Let take on Northern also.
    We put the entire school on probation for one year.

    Rich guy and buddies saves Oak Ridge and starts to work on a Sports Dynasty. We can not let this
    happen we have to criminalize Coach Stan and his supporters.

    The fight is on.

  17. Was the whole investigation about people who played a sport and live out of district? So what is the result for people who cheated for academic purposes and just were not investigated? It seems to me there is absolutely no difference in the two. We just don’t care about the peeople who cheat for a different reason.

  18. Way to go GCS. You made your point, BUT AT WHAT PRICE? It is estimated to have cost thousands and thousands of dollars(WHICH YOU DON”T HAVE) to find the once thought wide spread problem in Guilford County Athletics. Your great find included 12 (not a typo) ineligible athletes at Northern Guilford High School. WOW!! Now to be fair let’s include the 2 or 3 at Northwest High School and a couple at Page the grand total still does not reach 20.
    Now for a Math lesson for our leaders of the investigation. If the cost is $100,000 for this investigation,you just spent over $5000.00 per violation. If it reaches the level of $200,000 (Which is the common wisdom on this) you spent over $10,000 per violation.
    With the budget in shambles and teachers being laid off and support staff being drastically cut, this seems an awful use of the tax payers money. I hope you can look the people you have laid off in the face, because their salaries went to fund this. Thanks for being such good stewards of the publics money.

  19. “Your great find included 12 (not a typo) ineligible athletes at Northern Guilford High School.”

    and NONE of them was the “big one” everyone jumped to conclusions there would be, ‘nuf said.

  20. GCS did what it had to doi. Had there not been any illegal players/students GCS wouldnt have had to spend any money. Stop attempting to put this on anyone other than the students/families that broke the rules.

    That being said, I also agree with just curious.

    This cannot be solely about athletes. It has to be about illegal attendance of schools for any and all reasons. It has to be about the transfer policy, the process and enforcement.

  21. GCS did what it had to do to get the angry parents off of their backs. If the community would have known that they would be checking the addresses on their licenses and their voting registration cards, they would have had them changed. The only thing that will stop parents from doing this will be the enforcement of the transfer policy. Sitting out a year will be the deterrent. If they have too many loopholes (transfer into academies, IB Programs, etc.), the end result will be that the schools with these programs will gain a bigger advantage. Another winner will be the private schools because they become a better transfer option. To think that this issue has been solved is ridiculous. We will most likely see a different way of getting around it. Crazy Parents will always find a way!

  22. WE Must Be Crazy has got it right. Very few infractions in 3 schools that have attendance of over 5000 kids. The juice was not worth the squeeze. We have wasted too much money to come up with these few findings. In the beginning, we were told it was an out of control problem. I rest better knowing we have put a stop to the transferring in for cheerleading, track and JV sports. Thanks GCS

  23. The whole reason this investigation went on for football was not because of potential ineligible players. Its that some of these big name kids at Northern were recruited away from their school illegally.

    I think the thing that was failed to do was to get rid of the coaches that were doing it. Or make them stop doing it.

    Talking to a kid, and getting him to leave School A to go to School B is illegal.
    That should have been looked at.

  24. They did look into recruiting at NG and apparently could not prove it. I think it is hard to prove unless the recruited player steps up and testifies. Or maybe it did not exist. A player making his own decision to move or apply for administrative transfer is not the same thing as recruiting. Maybe Andy can find out how many admin. transfers for the upcoming year have been approved???

    As far as the one-year sit out policy for transfers–it has not passed, may not pass due to lack of support on the school board and still has loopholes. Some kinds of transfers do not apply.

    There are definitely kids that falsify addresses for reasons other than sports. It happens. Parents are teaching their kids that it is okay to cheat if it benefits yourself. But, these same parents would probably be upset if their child’s spot on their team/band/drama was taken by another cheater. In my household, cheating is wrong. Plain wrong.

  25. 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 without fear. They just also happen to play sports. Should this kid be forced to attend a school that cannot meet the academic needs and deal with gang issues just because of the sports or should they be allowed to attend a school that meets those needs without safety concerns and play the sports? What about the High IQ Bowl? Are those kids questioned about district? Aren’t there more academic scholarships available then 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. Am I a bad person for giving my child an opportunity to be a better person? If so, then save me a spot in hell for doing what is needed in the best interest of my child. Oh – I will NOT give my name, my childs name, sport or school – don’t even ask!

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