DeKalb County relieves two of coaching duties after forfeits

Lithonia and Stone Mountain were found guilty of using ineligible football players by the Georgia High School Association on Thursday.

The two DeKalb County schools must forfeit a total of eight wins — knocking both out of playoff contention. Also, Lithonia head coach Earl White and Stone Mountain assistant Clifford Browning were “relieved of their coaching duties” related to the violations, according to DeKalb County spokesman Dale Davis.

“We take great pride in our athletic programs and are very disappointed to learn of these violations,” wrote Davis in a press release. “All appropriate steps are being taken to correct the violations and prevent this from happening again.”

The forfeits turned out to be good news for Miller Grove and Chamblee, which will play each other on Friday for Region 6-AAAA’s fourth and final berth in the state playoffs. Southwest DeKalb, Marist and Tucker — none of whom were affected by the forfeits — have already qualified for the postseason.

Prior to the GHSA ruling, Stone Mountain was on the brink of qualifying for the playoffs under first-year coach Dante Ferguson with a 6-3 record. Stone Mountain played one ineligible player and will forfeit wins over Miller Grove, Forsyth Central, Lakeside and North Springs — dropping the team’s record to 1-8.

Stone Mountain retained its 20-19 win over Cedar Grove on Aug. 28 because it said the ineligible player did not play in that contest.

Meanwhile, Lithonia was found guilty of using two ineligible players and will forfeit wins over Forsyth Central, Chamblee, Miller Grove and Lakeside, along with paying a $700 fine to the GHSA. Lithonia’s record goes from 4-5 to 0-9 under White, who was in his second year as coach.

Also, the Lithonia-Stone Mountain game on Sept. 25 will go down as a rare “double forfeit” — 0-0 final score, with both teams awarded losses in the head-to-head competition.

Neither White nor Ferguson could be reached for comment, while DeKalb County athletics director Ron Sebree declined to speak.

The GHSA and DeKalb County officials did not reveal the names of the ineligible players.

Anyone have any inside info?

132 comments Add your comment

BlackAngel

November 5th, 2009
8:07 pm

city slicker

November 5th, 2009
8:13 pm

awww man i was proud for these two programs turning it around umm another sad story in dekalb first the mcnair situation now this

SportsFan31313

November 5th, 2009
8:23 pm

Very sad… I guess you already know by now. 6-AAAA.

Falconsfan99

November 5th, 2009
8:25 pm

As a high school coach, I get to see this stuff happen all the time. There is such a ludicrous amount of cheating going on in high school sports and the GHSA normally just turns a blind eye to it. It basically teaches our kids that cheating is ok. So, THANK GOD the GHSA is finally doing something about it. I just wish they would look into stuff going on in 2nd tier sports like baseball and soccer.

Some Sense

November 5th, 2009
8:52 pm

This is mismanagement characteristic of everything about DeKalb County schools.

Can you imagine being a first year teacher assigned to any DeKalb County school not named Chamblee or Lakeside?

Crime, mismanagement, cheating, fear…name it.

Dale Davis, come on. There is no pride in DeKalb County.

NotU

November 5th, 2009
8:54 pm

If thats the case you need to cancel the rest,Sorry gwinnett season’s over.Start with Buford.

Jonas Grumby

November 5th, 2009
9:06 pm

I’m glad the kids weren’t named, but why were they ineligible? Was it age, grades, illegal recruiting or what? If it was recruiting, the coaches in Columbus need to take note. The illegal recruiting there has long been out of control.

killerJ

November 5th, 2009
9:39 pm

Man,I Played For Sequoyah High School In The Late Seventies ,Never Heard Of Anything Like This When We Played.Am I Out Of Touch Or Have The Rules Changed That Much Since We Played?Hell, We Played With D,s And F,s.Ilegal Recruting?What? They Don,t Live In The County?Even So,There Not Killing ,Robbing Or Stealing For A Living.Give Me A Break!What The Hell Is Going On In our Society?………..????………!!!!!!

Played at Stn Mtn

November 5th, 2009
10:24 pm

I went to Stone Mountain High School and i think it was the 1990 football year that the samething happened. The only team to beat us was Dunwoody by 3 points. In the end we had to forefit 3 games and knocked us out of the playoffs…

....

November 5th, 2009
10:33 pm

IM A STONE MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER AND I THINK THAT THIS IS A MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING AND GHSA NEEDS TO LOOK BACK INTO THIS

heartofdarkness

November 5th, 2009
11:51 pm

It was in Georgia that I first heard that old athletic canon, “If you’re not cheating, are you really trying?”

dekalb guy

November 6th, 2009
12:03 am

not sure of the reason exactly, but this i know for sure, a player can step onto two different practice fields in the same year, meaning practice or play for two schools.

Scott

November 6th, 2009
12:27 am

Killer J…..how could you have played for Sequoyah High School in the late 70s when that school didn’t exist at that time?

Raider

November 6th, 2009
5:55 am

If you want to see a program out of control as far as recruiting, just come to Dublin and check up on the Irish.

Paddy

November 6th, 2009
6:35 am

“Win if you can,lose if you must but always cheat”

Paddy

November 6th, 2009
6:40 am

My regrets to the authors from above; “Handsome” Johnny Baron, “Magnificent” Maurice and Don Eagle. They always claimed to have been undefeated.

Hope2013

November 6th, 2009
6:41 am

If that’s the case someone should tell on Columbia High School,because the are the world’s worst at this.Please check on them GHSA if you call yourself checking the schools out.

Hey, Scott

November 6th, 2009
6:55 am

There was a different Sequoyah High School back in the ’70s that was in Dekalb County – I played against them, too, back in 1970, from Clarkston High School! The current Sequoyah High School, to which you refer, is not in Dekalb County. There were other high schools around back then in Dekalb that are not there now, such as Peachtree High School, Henderson High School, Walker High School, Gordon High School, and Shamrock High School.

dawgma

November 6th, 2009
6:57 am

TYPICAL BUSH LEAGUE ANTICS OF POORLY RUN PROGRAMS. VERY DEKALB LIKE.

All of this recruiting...

November 6th, 2009
7:00 am

…goes back to 1969 when Dekalb County started the much needed integraton of schools – when they went to the “M to M” (minority to majority) concept with the cross town busing is when this really got out of hand. How do you think Dunwoody won all those titles with kids from South Dekalb County? They just never enforced it like they do now. Chamblee is still able to get away with it because they are a “magnet school for high achievers” (they just stretch the “high achievement justification to include athletes as well as educational prowess).

But, look at all the “city” type schools – Gainesville, Buford, etc – they still recruit big time yet the GHSA looks the other way – quite two faced, but the other coaches in their regions just accept it and try to coach their players “up” to compete with them.

FanOfTheGame

November 6th, 2009
7:07 am

Sorry to see this happen. I grew up in Augusta, GA in 70’s. It was common place for star athletes to live outside of the district. Cheating was rampant. I am sorry for the kids. It is a tough lesson to take.

rwdekalbfan

November 6th, 2009
7:08 am

Well stated ” All of this recruting”.

Native Atlantan

November 6th, 2009
7:52 am

Cheating goes on everywhere, it starts in the youth rec leagues and just goes to the middle schools then high schools then college. I don’t condone it which is why I got out of coaching because it was too hard to compete and maintain your integrity.

SWD Panther

November 6th, 2009
8:01 am

I don’t think any other county can get on this blog and try to act as if this type of thing dosen’t occur at their school’s……..namley gwinnett county(parkview, brookwood) who have crossed over the dekalb county line for years to get player’s to come to their school’s. It’s too bad it’s been allowed to continue in the state without the GHSA doing something about it…..until they do it will continue.

Paddy

November 6th, 2009
8:17 am

Someone explain to me; why is it against the rules to recruit? Or maybe better stated, why is there such a rule. Does not seem to be a big deal in the real world!

Native Atlantan

November 6th, 2009
8:28 am

It is against the rules because people buy homes in certain counties and neighborhoods so that there kids can go to those schools. The taxes in those districts are often times higher but the parents sacrifice for their kids. If your kid can play they, colleges will find him, trust me, regardless of if your team is 0-10 or 10-0.

SMHS ride or die!

November 6th, 2009
8:40 am

dawgma why speak negatively on Dekalb without putting it out there where u from??? You probably was born and raised in Dekalb, moved away and turned your nose up! It’s all about the kids!! Nothing’s wrong w/ Dekalb…..The whole story has not been exposed as of yet b/c it’s still being investigated!!

Big Picture

November 6th, 2009
8:43 am

Okay lets look at the big picture, the use of ineligible football players. Who is to say these were recruited athletes?

The biggest problem with high school athletics here in Georgia and many other big producing high school football states are just that “athletics first” and “grades secondly”.

Georgia is well recruited by college football programs all over the country however so many of our athletes do not or can not qualify for college because they have not taken care of the academics first. We need to look at who is at fault first the athlete, parents and coaches. Why reward a kid that has not taken care of his business first his grades.

However agreed that GHSA is also a joke because they do know and hear about these recruiting issues but yet they tend to ignore those issues because these programs keep the name of Georgia football in the top five of the best states in the country for high school. The old boy network still at work in Georgia.

Decatur 4 Life

November 6th, 2009
8:44 am

Some Sense

There’s plenty of pride in Dekalb County. You can’t let two dumb coaching decisions affect the pride of a whole county. I grew up in Dekalb County, attended school in Dekalb County and I know there is a disparity between how schools in the northern end of the county are treated better than our schools on the southern end. Everyone knows the schools on the southern end of the county are predominately black kids. Its been like that since I attended those schools and I’m in my early 30’s. The fact is those decisions to play ineligible guys during the season is dumb and they deserve the wrath that was brought down. Now because they coached at a county school it’s going to bring some negative light to the county as a whole but overall I hope it doesn’t tarnish what the county has been able to do and produce in the past.

Decatur 4 Life

November 6th, 2009
8:55 am

And before I forget “Some Sense”, this types of things happens everywhere all over GA. I heard someone mention Parkview and Brookwood, yes they do it too. Caleb King at UGA is a prime example of that. He started at Columbia HS as a freshman and ended up leaving to go play at Parkview. We had a guy at our middle school(Columbia Middle) that was offered a scholarship to play at Marist once he left the middle school.

Big Picture

November 6th, 2009
9:00 am

Decatur 4 life for you to say that there is disparity between North Dekalb and South Dekalb is a bunch of crap. North Dekalb does more with less because they take it upon themselves make do with what the county provides. Everyone knows in our county we have to share revenue and share stadiums with unsuccessful programs throughout our county.

dgroy

November 6th, 2009
9:04 am

DeKalb County Schools for the most part…..there are exceptions……their athletic program, their athletic facilities are the pits. My children went to DeKalb Schools but there is no way under the sun I would let them go there now. Ron Seebre is a joke as an Athletic Director……the halftime show that DHHS put on last year at football games was the most racist demonstration I have ever witnessed. DeKalb County……wake up idiots and do something.

Paddy……All Private Schools recruit (my opinion) but it is done in such a manner that it’s never caught. DeKalb County does it all the time too and it’s overt……it’s called M to M Transfers.

Annie

November 6th, 2009
9:06 am

This is a bad day for high school football everywhere. My heart goes out to the players who remain on the team after all their hard work to qualify for the playoffs have been stripped from them. The athletic directors at both schools and the DCSS athletic department needs to investigated for their lack of accountability for the schools and most importantly the players…I know several of the players at Lithonia High School who are quality players from the local youth football programs who were making a major difference in the HS program and for this to happen to them is so unfair. I can not imagine what the player’s parents are feeling right now but heartbreak. To all the Bulldogs and Pirates players keep your heads up!

Decatur 4 Life

November 6th, 2009
9:08 am

Check us out for what. We never played a guy that started the season somewhere else. That’s what got them in trouble, if a player transfers we follow the GHSA transfer rules. If you look at us you better look at everyone else in the county and the state.

Decatur 4 Life

November 6th, 2009
9:15 am

Big Picture

Are you familiar with the schools on the southern end of the county. That’s not my opinion that’s the truth. Coming from someone that went to school in the county and now teaches in it as well. I see the differences now just like when I was there. If you don’t know about it you can’t comment on it as being crap.

Big Picture

November 6th, 2009
9:16 am

Enter your comments here

Jay Jones

November 6th, 2009
9:16 am

Check out Stephenson Middele School they have players playing with very bad grades. Some have four f and its just a way of life to them. They are in the Championship this weekend so thats all they are concern about call the school check it out what about education first, education first education first.

Former lithonia parent

November 6th, 2009
9:18 am

I am a former Lithonia parent and I know coach white and coach browning. My son played at Lithonia and is in college because coach browning help my son when know else will. Coach White is a liar thief and he is not here for these children at all just out for himself I know he started this whole mess. Coach Browning is a good man he is here for these kids he has help so many kids get in school. He talks and mentors these kids. We need more men like coach Browning. I know God will see him through this.

Big Picture

November 6th, 2009
9:18 am

Give examples of disparity. All the new high schools are being built in the South end of the county. Name the newest high school in the North.

SWD Panther

November 6th, 2009
9:21 am

dgroy – M to M is no longer a program in dekalb county it was terminated about 5 or 6 years ago. but the transfer of kids from south dekalb to north dekalb school’s still occur’s just in a different form. The county doesn’t provide bus transportation to kid’s not in the magnet program so if a parent want’s their child to attend…say Chamblee…they must transport the child themselves…….of course they must provide some false documentation.

Big Picture

November 6th, 2009
9:27 am

Decatur 4 life, we are way off subject now. If there is any truth to what Jay Jones stated above about Stephenson Middle School there is our biggest problem not only in Dekalb county but in our state period. “Football First – Education Second.”

Big Picture

November 6th, 2009
9:34 am

SWD Panther a majority of the kids that go to schools like Chamblee do it for the right reasons and not football. As for providing false documentation I think you are reaching. The thing that is allowing transfers are “no child left behind” special transfer request because their home school is on the failing school list.

SNN

November 6th, 2009
9:36 am

Does anyone need to read further than Dekalb county? I don’t. Thugs breeding and raising thugs.

Tom T.

November 6th, 2009
9:38 am

If you want to get run out of town on a rail… at your next booster club meeting, suggest high school athletes, especially football players, have regular drug testing like the Olympics. All the hypocrites who are talking about ethics will be on you in a flash!

kc15aa

November 6th, 2009
9:51 am

Many of the posters on this blog have demonstrated that their education level, or lack there of is as low as some of the kids they try to berate at the schools. It is a sad day when grown-ups attack our youth and make such harsh comments that are intent on causing hurt, and then complain when the kids are not successful. What a great example you are setting. Regardless of who is at fault the schools and the kids involved must live on because this is not life this is football. Those of you who jump on a computer to fire attack after attack have demonstrated that ignorance is rampant and thank you for that because I have one less person to compete with when trying to get ahead.

unhappy dad

November 6th, 2009
9:58 am

I must agree with the former lithonia parent. Coach browning is a wonderful person. Coach white is a liar!!! Coach white charged all the kids 100.00 to get equipment to play in a spring game. Then lied and said it was apart of the dues.GHS needs to check into all of the states schools for that matter. All of the schools is allowing this to happen. The reason why this was leaked out was because coach Browning left Lithonia. Coach white from lithonia was upset, that alot of the kids wanted out of the school. They felt like coach white was a liar and didnt have the means to get the kids into college. i just feel sorry for all the kids that was put in the middle of this.

Decatur 4 Life

November 6th, 2009
10:02 am

Big Picture

I agree, that is a problem. Here at Columbia we preach student first then athlete second. What these kids need to understand is there’s a price to pay to be an athlete. Not only do you have to work hard on the field but you need to work especially hard in the classroom. You can’t do one without the other, it doesn’t work like that.

Decatur 4 Life

November 6th, 2009
10:08 am

Big Picture

I sent a response to the disparity question but it must have gotten lost after I hit submit. The disparity includes shipping high-risk students to the schools on the southern end of the county no matter where they’re from, slow pace on field construction and facilities, the list goes on

Tucker

November 6th, 2009
10:09 am

M to M finally phased out last year – the kids who were already a part of it still got to transfer.

SportsFan31313

November 6th, 2009
10:17 am

This very sad that it had to come to this. Wasn’t it punishment enough to just forfeit the games? Those Coaches had to live with that. But firing them was a bit too far.