GHSA investigates eligibility of Grayson football star – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)

Kurt Taylor (with ball) transferred to Grayson last fall and won a state championship. He is now back at Newton High, according to a Fox 5 report.

The Georgia High School Association is investigating the eligibility of a star football player on Grayson’s state-championship football team.

Kurt Taylor, a running back who has signed with Michigan, transferred to Grayson for his senior season last fall and then returned to Newton High School without his family ever relinquishing residence at his home in Newton County, according to a report by Fox 5 Atlanta.

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GHSA spokesperson Steve Figueroa acknowledged that the TV report and subsequent feedback from it to the GHSA are what sparked the investigation. Figueroa said the GHSA could not comment further while the case is active.

Taylor was among five blue-chip senior prospects who transferred to Grayson for the 2016 season, making the Rams’ championship run a lightning rod for criticism over the prevalence of high-profile transfers and their impact on high school sports.

Student-athletes are generally eligible for sports upon transferring high schools unless they fail to make what the GHSA defines as a bona fide move. In most cases, that entails that the student-athlete move into his new school district and relinquish his previous residence.

Citing records, Fox5 reports that Taylor’s father rented an apartment in the Grayson district last season but never sold his Covington home. Fox5 shows a photo of Taylor in front of his Covington house with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

That is not proof of a violation, however. Those photos appeared on Taylor’s social media in January, after the football season. Taylor would have been eligible last fall provided that his home were on the market and that he did not live there during his time at Grayson.

Regardless, the Fox5 story quotes Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, as saying that Taylor and his family were ‘’mocking the system.’’

Thompson was among 12 legislators who sponsored bills in the General Assembly that proposed to take over high school athletics in Georgia and abolish the GHSA. The bills effectively forced the resignation of GHSA executive director Gary Phillips.

Grayson coach Jeff Herron takes job in South Carolina

Thompson told the TV station that he wants transfers to sit out a year of athletics.

“There’s a significant problem with that,” Thompson told Fox 5. “And there should be a penalty for that. I don’t know what that is, but there should be a penalty.”

Ironically, Thompson’s bill proposed a more transfer-friendly environment. SB 203 states: ‘’Where the student lives, with whom the student lives, or which school the student attended the previous year shall not be a factor in determining eligibility.’’

Phillips strongly opposed that idea and addressed it prominently in his resignation statement. The GHSA had formed a committee to study more restrictions on transfers.

If the GHSA finds that Taylor is ineligible, Grayson could be stripped of its championship. The GHSA has forced schools to forfeit football games from previously played seasons over eligibility, but never a state-championship game in football.

The other four prominent senior transfers to Grayson last fall were DeAngelo Gibbs from Peachtree Ridge (signed with Georgia), linebacker Breon Dixon from Peachtree Ridge (Ole Miss), running back/defensive back Jamyest Williams from Archer (South Carolina) and offensive lineman Tony Gray from Central Gwinnett (Ole Miss).

Taylor led Grayson in rushing with 930 yards. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior at Newton.

Former Grayson head football coach Jeff Herron, now head coach of T.L. Hanna in South Carolina, said in May that Grayson athletics director Brian DeBerry investigated to ensure that all transferred legally.



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Re Al A T

Re Al A T

5pts

Legal transfers are fine but many are perpetrated by “pumpkin eater” coaches. These liars and cheats have been doing it for years without consequence. Either you are a legal transfer or you stay at home!

Slabber

Slabber

5pts

Coaches Athletic Directors and Principals should really be held accountable with some serious consequences, They sign off and approve eligibility and unless they are living under a rock they have to know some of these are not legit. Unless someone questions a player they get away with it unscathed. If they would put some real teeth into the punishment the people in charge would take it a lot more serious And its not just this year at Grayson It has been going on for decades at all the powerhouse programs in the state

NealBoortz

NealBoortz

5pts

Can you imagine if we found a Coach in JoJa that has 5 players living with him and his wife…..The Coach just says, ‘They were living in difficult situations with their parents/grandparents and We just felt we needed to step in and help out…..We were just fortunate that we Won State Championships in 3 Sports these last 2 years’……just fortunate : )

Yeah right…..

UnbiasedObserver

UnbiasedObserver

5pts

@NealBoortz Say it aint so… LOL.  Some players were even put up in Fancy Plantation Lodges…for the season, so to speak.  

Stowers1

Stowers1

5pts

There certainly needs to be some changes in the rules regarding the eligibility of players who transfer into other schools.  But at this point nobody had said that Grayson was breaking any rules and therefore suggesting that they should forfeit their games is crazy talk.  If you remember, the team that the Rams beat in the championship benefited  from transfer players of their own – including the star quarterback.  Heck, Valdosta HS back in the glory days made a living off of recruited players and more recently, Colquitt county benefitted from several recruits from Alabama.  I say change some rules but don’t go crying because your team didn’t win the game. 

TruthReallyHurts

TruthReallyHurts

5pts

It’s a public school. As long as a kid has a clean discipline and academic record and a school has room, he/she should be able to transfer to any school in the state, as long as his/her parents can provide transportation.

Why should a kid be forced to remain in a school where he/she doesn’t believe his/her talents are being nurtured — and this goes for non-athletic activities as well, such as robotics team/club, math team/club, debate team/club. 

The bumblers in the State Legislature need to stay out of this. Leave the GHSA alone and butt out of athletics!

Wrecker

Wrecker

5pts

@TruthReallyHurts Why?  Because it hurts the competitive balance and creates “super” schools that always win, like Grayson.

FridayNightLights

FridayNightLights

5pts

@TruthReallyHurts    “He/she should be able to transfer to any school in the state as long as his/her parents can provide transportation”? Really? That is NOT how it works. There is a little thing called county taxes that have a big say in who should be able to attend what school. 

Citizens have the power to change the laws if they don’t like them but not after the fact to excuse the law breakers.  Public High Schools should not be about recruiting for the sole purpose of winning championships and everyone knows that is what happened at Grayson last year. The recruiter took the fall. 

Obviously this kid was not too worried about the school he was at. As soon as football season was over, he transferred back there. GHSA may want to dig a little deeper. There is a big pile over there and it stinks. Probably should have said “WAS a big pile over there”. Everyone ran after it was over including the head coach who did not like what he discovered after he got there. 

BetterDog

BetterDog

5pts

Maybe the Movie, “The Blind Side” just showed that this is really more common than we think. Not jus a fluke. 

BetterDog

BetterDog

5pts

The only school that ever got the Death Penalty was SMU.  They eventually go reinstated.  If Penn State did not get the Death Penalty then no one ever will.  The Big Money now runs all sports.  If you or a family member are a victim then you are screwed.  There must be a lot handwringing goint on down at the Gold Dome about this topic. 

BetterDog

BetterDog

5pts

All the schools are doing it.  Some real reporter needs to check the High School Sports Budgets today versus say ten years.  The Dirt is in the Details.  Now we have to find a real reporter. 

Ugaboss

Ugaboss

5pts

Well, this is what I thought people wanted. It’s school choice. Why should a student be bound to a certain school just because he lives in a particular area?

TruthReallyHurts

TruthReallyHurts

5pts

Penalizing a kid by making him/her sit out a season for transferring schools is stupid. Another “brilliant” idea from a dumb hick. Does he think that every player who suits up for his hometown powerhouse school Cartersville actually LIVES in Cartersville?? How about we scrutinize the Hurricanes’ roster and check everyone’s residency?

1Fred

1Fred

5pts

Funny how all these comments with no direct knowledge assume this is correct.  SMH.  GHSA is scrambling for their life and appears to be willing to say or do anything to pander to the legislature.  Weekly checks were made during the season to ensure eligibility requirements were met.

Fox5 is doubling down when they didn’t have everything correct in their previous story.  Heck, the reporter even had Todd Holcomb listed as the official spokesperson for the GHSA at one based based on the daily newsletter he puts out.

Courtney2

Courtney2

5pts

Grayson should be given the DEATH penalty in all sports for 20 years. The kid should NOT receive a HS diploma from the state of Georgia.  Or this will continue to happen.  

NealBoortz

NealBoortz

5pts

@STHornet1990 @Courtney2 /  Exactly Hornet……Buford wouldn’t have been half as many titles had it Not been for Misc. rental expenses from Boosters.

FridayNightLights

FridayNightLights

5pts

@STHornet1990 @Courtney2 Believe me, I am not defending Buford because you are correct, they do not compete on a level playing field. But they are not a county school. While public, they are much more like a private school. You pay and you can go there. Not the same with county public schools. One is doing it legally and the other illegally. Still doesn’t impact what you inferred about Buford having a competitive advantage for so many years. This particular parent’s tax dollars are going to Newton Co. Anyone that lives in Gwinnett is paying for this kid to go to school there. 

MissDaisyCook

MissDaisyCook

5pts

How about one simple rule:  Any time a student transfers schools after entering the ninth grade, he must sit out one year of varsity sports participation; he/she may still play junior varsity.  No exceptions. 

cgrm

cgrm

5pts

@MissDaisyCook you apparently are not paying attention to the details of this story.

BetterDog

BetterDog

5pts

Hey Stringer.  Let me guess. Coach, Booster, or scout for a big time college?  Or maybe you think you son will make your rich playing at Ohio State?  

BetterDog

BetterDog

5pts

The Big Money Machine has taken over Ga. High School Sports.  Coaches have five star athletes move and live under the Coaches sponsorship.  This Guardianship has gotten out of control.  Has Gov. Deal and the rest of the politicians figured out this is going to explode in their faces?  I guess its a little late to ask if these star athletes ever went to class?  Georgia High Schools have gotten in bed with Big Money. 

StringerBell

StringerBell

5pts

Who cares. Its high school football. Kids in high school and college should be able to transfer at will. They are not getting paid. Hell, at least in college they are getting a scholarship. These high schools are PUBLIC schools. If he can get a better chance at a scholarship in Grayson as opposed to Newton, then I’m glad he went for it.

Rev. Dr. Candler Road

Rev. Dr. Candler Road

5pts

@StringerBell I agree with you. The player in question actually had a scholarship prior to his transfer. Which to me makes the intentions that much more pure. He wanted to play against better competition, I support that. He could have easily remained the big fish in a little pond. 

FridayNightLights

FridayNightLights

5pts

@Rev. Dr. Candler Road @StringerBell Umm…..no he didn’t have a scholarship before he transferred. He may have had an offer but he couldn’t sign until Feb 2017. His offer could be pulled at anytime. 

Wow! No one cares that there are laws against living in one county and paying taxes there but going to school in another county? While what you are saying may be what needs to be considered in the future, that is not what is allowed now. So why do you think it is okay, Reverend?

That is what is wrong with today’s generation. They have no absolutes. Their parents are teaching them to break the rules or laws if it benefits them. Historically, that was known as a cheater or a criminal. Today everyone wants to simply cry “suppression” or “racism” and somehow that is suppose to make the illegal activity okay. 

The “PUBLIC” in Public Schools does not mean the doors are open for anybody and everybody. It means it is open to the Public within the parameters of what is defined for that particular school. Ever heard of school districts and overcrowding. What you are proposing is not even possible.  

Doolittles_raiders

Doolittles_raiders

5pts

Are you implying that renters don’t pay property taxes? If I rent a place to live, I can guarantee you that the owner recovers the tax payment through the monthly fee for rent.

SunDropMan

SunDropMan

5pts

Herron say the writing on the wall and essentially said, “I’m gettin outta here before the fit hits the shan” !  This is shocking I tell you, just simply shocking………..   NOT !

UnbiasedObserver

UnbiasedObserver

5pts

Blah blah blah

They always “investigate” but never do anything

See Lowndes Binoculargate

See Colquitt Alabama move-ins

Beach Bound2020

Beach Bound2020

5pts

By the rules or not, everyone knows that Grayson won under false pretenses.  No way five star players coincidentally move to the same high school their senior year.  Sad that the value of winning is so convoluted that adults are allowing this sort of action for a trophy.  Sadder is all of the adults (parents, coaches, administration, etc.) in collusion with this and not seeing one thing wrong with it.  I don’t blame the students – they are teenagers, they will do only what their parents will allow them to do.  That this was condoned is a horrific reflection of public schools, public school athletics, coaching morals, and parenting values.  There simply is no excuse for this but worse is how sad the messaging of this is.  If I represented Grayson in any manner, and now aware of exactly what happened, I’d be embarrassed and offer to forfeit the championship so that I could send a message to the community that winning on an uneven playing field is not a win and that our students deserve better.  We must teach children that it is okay to lose.  We must teach children to understand the feeling of losing and how to work through that. Unfortunately this whole thing has taught children just the opposite.

SunDropMan

SunDropMan

5pts

@Beach Bound2020  Good post, concur 100%.  Unless it’s stopped now, high schools will be just like colleges.

NealBoortz

NealBoortz

5pts

@SunDropMan @Beach Bound2020 /  Here here….again, i concur.  One of my most satisfying days in Coaching was being undefeated in youth baseball…..then getting Thumped by a team we had ‘mercy ruled’ earlier in the year.  The site of those 8 year olds crying in the dugout, ‘wondering what happened’….was priceless. Seriously.  As i continued to Coach some of them for 4 more years, i Always reminded them of that moment.  One of the Best lessons ever !!!

cgrm

cgrm

5pts

@TOJacket again, read the story-it isn’t just Grayson….

Wrecker

Wrecker

5pts

@cgrm @TOJacket That’s why he said a “bunch” of cheaters.  Eligibility rules are broken constantly and players transfer to better programs without bona fide moves.  Grady was busted for it a few years ago.

FridayNightLights

FridayNightLights

5pts

@cgrm @TOJacket Oh….so that makes it right? Next time you get pulled over for speeding, tell the cop everyone else was speeding too and see how far that gets you. 

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