Digging deeper on Grady High School investigation

ATLANTA-- Atlanta Public Schools released part one of an investigation into fraudulent residency requirements for Grady High School football players. The 23-page report found 14 players with addresses outside the district.

READ| Response from APS Superintendent Erroll Davis

The report shows both parents and school employees were involved in the fraud, some going to extreme lengths to play for the Grady football team.

Of the 58 students investigated, the district says its verified 14 falsified documents, with 13 still under investigation. Students are only listed by number in the report.

GALLERY |Flip through the summary of student cases

11Alive took a closer look at the most egregious examples. It includes one student who never attended classes. Hisonly interaction with Grady, was playing on the football team. Anotherstudenttold the district he lived at a senior citizen residence, where children aren't even allowed to live. Oneused the address of an extended stay hotel. The students implicated include one of a Fulton County School employee's son and a son of Grady's Assistant football coach.

The journey of the complaint
Last November, APS received an anonymous complaint. That's when, according to this report, the violations by adults across the board went far deeper.

It started on a Monday, November 11th. APS athletic director Jeff Beggs received a copy of the complaint and was told to keep the complaint confidential. Either that day or the next, Beggs did the opposite, giving a copy to Grady's head coach, Ronnie Millen. Both the AD and coach admitted that. By that Friday, parents and athletes say they knew. A group of team parents even discussed the complaint at practice.

By the next Monday, says one parent, Coach Millen had already contacted each parent named in the complaint. He reportedly told them to, quote, "get their affairs in order."

Thus began a grapevine of discussions and actions by Grady team parents. The APS investigation cites confrontations with those believed to have field the anonymous complaint. And on December 10th, the report says 10-20 parents attended a private meeting at the Midtown Courtyard by Marriott. At that meeting, one parent pulled the complaint from his pocket and read it to everyone. By then, many Grady parents had already begun covering their tracks.

What happens to the implicated athletes now?
Six of the students with falsified records have already enrolled in their correctly zoned schools. Several (but not all) of them were sent a tuition bill. Student #12, the assistant coach's son has withdrawn from Grady and the coach's "relationship with the football program will be reviewed.

Two students are now enrolled at West Lake High School. One of those parents has already paid tuition for the time the student was illegally enrolled.

Three students now live within the Grady zone, but moved after the investigation started. Two of the parents are recommended for additional consequences (civil or criminal). One of them was a Fulton County employee.

Student #21 is a senior and will be allowed to remain at Grady High School if his parents make tuition arrangements.

After APS issues their final report, the Georgia High School Association will determine whether each student is eligible to play at their current schools.

Who enforces the rules?
Every school district in Georgia is different. Some verify athlete residency at the district level, while others leave it up to each individual school. At APS, it's up to each school's athletic director. That person files transcripts, pulls residency documents, and conducts home visits if needed.

The Georgia High School Association won't comment on the Grady investigation until after they receive the final report. After that, they'll determine future eligibility of the players and the school itself.

Join the discussion: Who do you think is responsible for the fraudulent eligibility requirements: schools, coaches, parents, or students?


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