Will recruiting allegations at Milton slow the trend of transfers?

Milton boys basketball coach David Boyd on Monday became the fifth head coach since February to resign or be fired amid allegations of illegal recruiting. Georgia has never seen so many allegations result in coaching changes in this short of a time.

Why? In March, the AJC shed a critical light on the impact of transfers on the high school landscape on its Sports Extra page in the Sunday sports section. The coverage was much discussed on the following day at a GHSA executive committee meeting. And then last month, the AJC, through an open records request, reported that the GHSA is dealing with more than 6,000 transfers a year who seek eligibility to play sports at their new schools. Some of the larger schools in metro Atlanta had more than 40 athletic transfers.

The Boyd resignation is dramatic because of his status as a six-time state champion at four Georgia high schools, including 2010 and 2012 Class AAAAA champion Milton.

It also leaves open to debate about whether this will stop, or even slow, the transfer process. Here are answers to some questions worth considering:

1. So why, after all these years of kids transferring all over the state, are we seeing all these firings now?
A number of things. What happened in Troup County – where a popular and successful coach in Charlie Flowers was let go in February over recruiting allegations – emboldened coaches and parents to complain and schools to act. Then at Shiloh, a player innocently makes a statement in a newspaper article that he was asked to come play at a new school by his former coach. The player and the coach later denied it, but Shiloh had no choice but to act. So now, there’s a precedent, and the domino effect comes into play. Parents and fans and rival coaches have complained enough now that principals and superintendents are starting to make this a priority. Not saying that school administrators looked the other way in the past, but allegations of recruiting are difficult to prove, and educators are more interested in academics and budget than sports. But the concern about recruiting has begun to boil over. Administrators are being pressed, and they are responding.

2. Will this stop the process?
Once coaches begin losing jobs over recruiting allegations, other coaches will take note. There is not a coach in the state that won’t soon know about the events at Milton and four other high schools this year. It will make them think about what they’re doing and whether it’s legal, whether it could get them fired.

3. Why is it important to try to stop the process?
Recruiting is cheating. It’s against GHSA’s bylaws. There’s nothing wrong with a student-athlete transferring from one school to another, but coaches have no business trying to persuade students to make those choices for athletic purposes. Their job is to coach what is in the building. This is not college sports. Recruiting, which is illegal for coaches or anyone else who is even indirectly related to the school, undermines the integrity of the competition.

4. Does this indicate that high school administrators, much like college presidents, are trying to take control of the sports?
It’s an indication that administrators are trying to take control of athletic programs in their own school districts. Notice that all of the coaches who are out of jobs this year over recruiting allegations come from school systems with multiple high schools. These schools know each others’ business, especially in north Fulton County, where schools are opening quickly, and their faculties are being hired largely from one another. School administrators are being forced to handle these accusations and feuds that occur between schools in their own districts. Fulton County is about to hire a county-wide athletics director, and I’ve got to believe that these inter-school feuds and accusations are reasons for that.

5. Are there other coaches out there who should be concerned?
If you’re a coach with a history of getting high-profile transfers, then be worried. That doesn’t mean those coaches are recruiting. If you build a successful program nowadays, parents will bring their kids to be a part of it. But if you coach at a school known for getting a lot of student-athlete transfers, then the spotlight is going to be on you and your program.

6. The GHSA says it cannot be an investigative arm. But for this to work, don’t they have to investigate?
The GHSA investigates, but it puts the burden of proof on the accuser, or the school system that is investigating the allegations. The GHSA has only about 10 employees, and none of those is an investigator. The reason the GHSA doesn’t have a full-time investigator is because member schools have not pressed the GHSA hard enough to get one, and because the GHSA doesn’t get many official complaints of recruiting. There were only about a half-dozen last academic year. It’s not been a priority to school superintendents in the state. Perhaps this is beginning to change.

7. Was David Boyd the big fish in this pond and are there others?
The boys basketball program at Milton has been the most controversial athletic program in the state in regard to the issue of transfers. It was the program most commonly accused of recruiting. Three of its five starters last season were high-profile transfers who were major D-1 recruits. That doesn’t mean they were there illegally. All we know is that Fulton County Schools believes the allegations have enough merit to report them to the GHSA. Are there programs that have recruited illegally in Georgia? Yes. Most every coach I’ve asked about this says that his or her school does not recruit, but others do. Everyone knows those programs that get transfers, but it’s not fair to point them out because it’s recruiting that is illegal, not transfers.

69 comments Add your comment

Fred

September 11th, 2012
1:13 pm

The fine line is between active recruiting and just talking. I talk to anyone and everyone about Grayson athletics that will listen (and a few who won’t! ;-) ). I would hope that would not be construed as recruiting. I struggle with it being recruiting to invite a kid to a game. I guess the line has to be drawn somewhere and it is easier to say no to everything than to try to figure out what is innocent talk and what is recruiting. Obviously the more blatant aspects such as providing jobs or housing is clearly wrong. But if a family makes a bona fide move to a new district to give ther kid a chance to excel in a program, is that wrong?

Sports Fan

September 11th, 2012
1:19 pm

so does this mean someone will look into the girls basketball program at Norcross finally?

Doogie

September 11th, 2012
1:47 pm

Or McEachern?

Leftfor money

September 11th, 2012
2:02 pm

Derek Cook- kell football coach should be next.

G

September 11th, 2012
2:16 pm

I don’t understand why it is illegal to recruit. Why does it matter? Seems like athletics are more important than academics. What GHSA should be more concerned about is why does Georgia have one of the worst graduation rates in the country. Who cares if one basketball team or football team is better because they recruited players, when most players are not graduating?

South Georgia B-ball

September 11th, 2012
2:43 pm

So this is comparable, to say a town that has speed limits and no cops to enforce? Basically “the wild west”. If anything, this should encourage recruiting. Basically, as long as the administrators don’t care, coaches are free to recruit. It’s obvious it’s not a concern in South GA, especially in cases where coaches have extra “titles” such as principal just so the school board can justify paying them more money.

Karma

September 11th, 2012
3:06 pm

This has been along time coming and donot feel sorry for possible derailed transfers. They knew what the h. Was going on the whole time. Coaches who blatantly do this should not only be fired from the school but should have their teaching certificate revoked. Go get a college job where it is legal to recruit within the guidelines but those do this will use the same tactics at that level. Walmart, McDonald’s have openings but there will be some system stupid enough and desperate enough to hire this guy. Some will never learn.

bucket

September 11th, 2012
3:09 pm

The GHSA should be concerned about and investigate recruiting because part of their job is to ensure fair play between the schools in athletics.

SportsFan

September 11th, 2012
3:12 pm

Is it a recuriting violation when a teacher at Wheeler teacher gets a kid in the middle school robotics program to go to Wheeler Magnet school. Sounds dumb doesn’t it.
This should be a non-issue. Look at the list of the Top 20 teams in the National basketball polls, they all recurit.and they also get kids scholarships not just the star but the fringe kids from the exposure. The only issues here are, is this best for the kid, is the kid legally in the school.

Central Georgia Dawg

September 11th, 2012
3:19 pm

They need to check out Wilkinson Co. basketball.

phil

September 11th, 2012
3:34 pm

Tift County administrators are turning a blind eye.

Dekalb County Guy

September 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

Yes, it will slow the trend. Coaches will have to be sure as not to be involved in players transferring and aiding in players move. But I am not sure how much it will help stop players from transferring. If a kid or his parent feels that by changing schools it can better their child athletic accomplishments and scholarship opportunities, then they are going to do it. Either legally if they have the resources (actually moving to a district) or illegally (forged documents). I went to Atlanta Public Schools and there were 2 programs notorious for always gettin a lot of transfers. All you needed was to get a copy of an apt lease in that district. Not sure how hard it is now, but people will always find ways around it.

K From Da Wood

September 11th, 2012
3:42 pm

Maybe it will be more difficult because the administrators will pay more attention. I find it hard to believe that no one spoke of the 2 or 3 phenomenal basketball players that transferred in on a yearly basis?

Noneya

September 11th, 2012
4:09 pm

He must have pissed someone off at Milton because EVERYONE knows he was recruiting, including the administration and the AD. These schools are getting transfers every year and all of these kids are not moving into the area. Especially not in Milton. These coaches can’t do all of that on their own.

Karma

September 11th, 2012
4:22 pm

You guys c an spin it the way you want. The bottom line is that yes it is illegal and the ones that year after year blatantly do it are finally getting caught and they should be. Ask yourself if your son was on the team and he was starter and all of a sudden we have a summer transfer or two or three then all of a sudden your son is not starting or getting much playing time. Answer this for yourself. Does your son want a ring and not get to play much or get to play and have an enjoyable experience with an honest coach. You should know the right answer. By the way rest assured wheeler high school was glad for of this the last few years because it took them out of the spotlight as they are just as bad in my honest opinion.’

Tiger4Life

September 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

This topic is “SO OVERRATED” In 1984 my sister was recruited to by her piano teacher to attend Tucker for the music program, let’s investigate that.. Ohh wait, no one cares unless sports are involved.

Coaches recruit on every level… Park, AAU, College and NFL, but it’s illegal to do it in High School !!! Why?

Should all kids from GA only be allowed to play collegiate sports in GA only?!? But if they are going for education purpose they can leave the state?

Karma

September 11th, 2012
4:39 pm

The rules and the laws are made to be enforced and these coaches should hold themselves to a higher standard. It doesnot make a darn where akid goes to school. If he is good enough they will find him and he will be rewarded accordingly. Do weneed to paint a picture.And who gives a damn about park and Abu. Those Abu coaches are the problem too. You got your team picked yet for next year.

Tiger4Life

September 11th, 2012
4:42 pm

@Karma

If you child goes from starting to riding the bench then they are obviously not that good. If you have talent and will help the team win the coach will find a position on the field for you. If all else fails tranfer them to Cross Keys, they will get all they playing time they can handle ;-)

BAM

September 11th, 2012
4:47 pm

Finally, the self proclaimed MEMBER OF THE NIKE MOFIA has been caught. I have never met a more arrogant and”pro self”person in my life. He did not develop any talent. He hand picked from the coaches that did develop it. To you AAU IDIOTS, stop corrupting high school hoops. Wheeler, Norcross, Tift Co & Wilikinson Co….be afraid…be very afraid…..Whitfield……you too…..Miller Grove….well, he has already been suspended by the PSC for changing permanent records at Carver….to win you have to cheat…..sad…very sad.

Karma

September 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

preach on bam bam

Max Sizemore

September 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

As a 12-year-old member of the Buckhead Red Devils Pop Warner football team in 1961, I was recruited to play at Westminster Schools. Also recruited at the time were players that not only went on to attend Westminster, they became big-name stars in college. One even went on to play fullback in the NFL.

JAY

September 11th, 2012
5:04 pm

I have had a change of heart on transfers and recruiting over the last couple of years. I used to think that it was crazy that kids would transfer from one school to another, but having seen how coaches at certain schools treat kids unfairly, just can’t coach or maybe they just can’t judge talent, I started to think that a kid should not be stuck in a place that does not work for them. I know many high school coaches have high opinions of themselves, but let’s face it a lot of them just can’t coach, and a kid should not have to be stuck in that situation.

Tiger4Life

September 11th, 2012
5:06 pm

Yeah Bam Bam, after 30 years, 600+ wins and multiple Championships they finally got him. The world will be a much safer place now. I don’t have to lock my doors at night wondering if AAU and High School coaches are going to come knocking to see if my three sons want to come play for them. LOL

AzCat

September 11th, 2012
5:08 pm

Max, what exactly is your point? Private schools have always been able to recruit and always will. They aren’t bound by district lines and have students from all over.

BAM

September 11th, 2012
5:11 pm

Those wins all have an asterisk because he has been doing it since he coached his brother Cal at Campbell. The EGO has taken a hit avert…I repeat avert…..The Vasser kid even was quoted on the vent saying Boyd met him last year at a junior showcase and told him what a great school Milton was….Undue Influence……

Middle GA Fan

September 11th, 2012
5:14 pm

I was very disappointed to learn that Brannen Greene had transferred down to Tift County. He brought a lot of attention to Mary Persons. People up here say that the coach down there at Tifton made it worth his while to come on down. I wish someone would look into that. Still wish the kid well though.

Tiger4Life

September 11th, 2012
5:19 pm

Really, I don’t asterisks.. 0_o

Beisdes when he came to Tucker I was there and his starting 5 was the same starting 5 from the year before. The yaer prior to his arrival they went 23-3. Boyd came in and the following year they went 29-4 winning state. So he’s really good if he can recruit years in advance.

Plus Milton is a good school, is it not? I would send my boys there for education.

BAM

September 11th, 2012
5:23 pm

No idea what kind of school it is but you can’t talk about your school with a player that does not go there…..if you seriously think he did not recruit on twitter and sleep with the devil (AAU Coaches) you need to go meet the real David Boyd….Nike MOFIA!!

CB

September 11th, 2012
5:26 pm

Coaches realize that wins will generally keep a coach at a high school or help them to higher levels. However, some have lost sight of what is really important. The kids are important and coaches should be working to help them become better not just in sports but academics as well as developing their character. A coach can only realize the impact they have made down the road when a young man or woman comes back to introduce them to their families and tell them what they meant to them. Sports are a big part of school life but very very few go on to play in college or after. Sports are a vehicle to get the the athlete to college and help them with the most important thing; an education. Once college is over, they need to be able to have something that they can hold on to besides memories. Coaches and administrators need to do the right thing. Play by the rules and enrich the lives of the athletes as well as their own but in a positve way. This was their goal when they first got into coaching.

Dekalb County Guy

September 11th, 2012
5:27 pm

Most everyone knows there probalby was some recriting going on, but dont I think playing on AAU teams in the summer, these guys decide to transfer to play with their AAU buds in the summer. I am sure Boyd’s hands are dirty a little bit.

@Karma

Yeah I suspect somebody son who maybe wont get much playing time blew the whistle on all the guys coming in

Lions Pride

September 11th, 2012
5:27 pm

Will Alpharetta or Sandy Creek administrators stand up and do the right thing? Doubt it. Folks have been talking openly about Milton recruiting for years on this board and GAVSV.com. Too bad it takes the school systems to spill the beans and not the GHSA.

BAM

September 11th, 2012
5:28 pm

I am done here…going to get candles and have a vigil for the 2 titles they are about to take away from Milton!! Can’t resist…how did the Causey’s get away with that apartment and never staying in it while he was at Berkmar?

OKAY...

September 11th, 2012
5:28 pm

@BAM do your research,you through all these teams out here and say they are recruiting. I only know about Miller Grove so i will comment on that, i follow dekalb basketball, and i watched these kids from Miller Grove beat my team year after year with the same players. I think they had 5 seniors who graduated all entered in the 9th grade and finished together. No big name recruits. TONY PARKER started and finished at Miller Grove along with his teammates, I think old Sharrmen may have learned his lesson at Carver. Also why was Boyd never investigated by Fulton when he was robbing, i mean recruiting kids from DeKalb, Clayton, and Rockdale. Only when he starts recruiting from within District or out of state people care. BS… Irony in this would be if a kid he recruited turned him in because he recruited his replacement.

Karma

September 11th, 2012
5:44 pm

We are beating a dead horse. Ga high school is not going to change the rules. Milton administration self-reported and Boyd had choice…resign or be fired. This is not unchartered waters for him and very soon I believe he will have several others to go in The HALL OF SHAME WITH HIM. The only coaches that win state championships are the coaches that use this approach during the summer at any cost. The key words being any cost which i guess this time was big. By the way if you bball gurus didnot know itis football season. Go support you favorite team .

pbt dawg fan

September 11th, 2012
5:51 pm

Would somebody please come down on wheeler basketball, i know milton basketball maybe be guilty of recuiting in the past couple of years, but Wheeler has been recuiting basketball players for the past 15 years. When you have a basketball team that has 3 guys starting on the team that were playing for a different school the year before thats fishy. Sometime i wonder how a school can be built in a already highly populated area(Gwinnett County) and become a powerhouse over night, Or a football team have 9 division one college players, and have half of them never started out playing for that school.(owe yes, am talking about that recuiting machine at Stephenson)

Karma

September 11th, 2012
6:00 pm

I mentioned that in a previous comment.

G

September 11th, 2012
6:44 pm

Karma let’s hope all of your hatred doesn’t live up to your screen name here… or do we?

White

September 11th, 2012
7:14 pm

Well he made someone mad alright! But the damage has been done! Other schools get kids in their feeder program! Why it took so long to get this story printed! They recruit middle school to make it seem like they were headed to the high school! Parker n Houston played at Redan Middle!

BAM

September 11th, 2012
7:17 pm

^^^^^^ This…. They started getting recruits as incoming 9th graders.

Finally

September 11th, 2012
8:13 pm

Norcross girls basketball has to be next.

BBJunkie

September 11th, 2012
8:18 pm

The one thing I can agree with (not recruiting) is a kid has a right to change schools if they do it legally (move into that district). Some programs recruit themselves, some have had illegal help. Boyd has done it at too many places. If a family wants to move for academics or athletics or performing arts, so be it. But again, in even legal cases, if it’s done it multitudes, the local family who has built the program is the one to suffer. That’s the sad thing. It’s never going to stop, but at least getting rid of the most guilty parties is a good move for all. Now, what happens to the Milton program? Will we see kids suddenly remember where they lived before? Probably..

intelibird

September 11th, 2012
8:26 pm

This has been going on forever. I remember finishing 7th grade back in 1984 and lo and behold when we began high school the following year, some of the best athletes “decided” to attend Marist. Wonder why they are still among the top schools every year in football. Private schools can essentially poach the best players from the public schools.

Dekalb Is The BEST

September 11th, 2012
8:27 pm

What about Buford (Dexter Wood and Allen Whitehart)? What about GAC (Eddie Martin)? What about Marist (Chadwick and Co.)? What about St. Pius? If you are going to call the kettle “black”, then call it all out?

Whatever

September 11th, 2012
8:32 pm

And COLUMBIA with the good Doctor Phil!!!! How many of his guys really live on Columbia Drive???

BAM

September 11th, 2012
8:42 pm

I just want my beach cruiser back….you knocked tha………out!

jdawg34

September 11th, 2012
9:02 pm

Folks, reallly this is old news, look at where he has been and the trend. It was just a matter of time when the atom bomb blew up. Now, what will happen is he will be recruited by a big private school and just start all over….get the picture.

Concerned Sports Fan in Fulton County

September 11th, 2012
9:09 pm

I am amazed at the violations that Fulton County Schools Athletic Directors and Principals intentionally break.

I noticed recently when we played North Springs High School that they had a paraprofessional as their Head Softball Coach, and has a community coach posted as their Head Volleyball Coach. They are so bold that they post their names as the head coach on their websites.

It is not that difficult to find a teacher to coach teams if an effort is put into finding them or recuiting qualified coaches which are teachers. Many teachers today need the additional money. Then a community coach can also be found if need be after you have a certified teacher as the Head Coach. However, some of these Athletic Directors feel they can stretch the facts and turn in a teacher’s name as the head coach on thier documentation to GHSAA, and then use anyone they want as the head coach. The problem comes in when someone gets injured or they get involved in a lawsuit of some kind and they have fudged really what is happening in the day to day operations of the coaching situation. Schools that fudge need to be exposed as it is not fair to not follow the same guidelines as the other schools have to follow. These schools need consequences for their actions.

I am amazed at the GHSAA Regulations that Fulton County Schools Athletic Directors fudge or break. One day it will catch up to them.

John Garza

September 11th, 2012
9:19 pm

It’s About TIME! this is a Guy that was totally Arrogant(Boyd) couldn’t happen to a nicer Guy! More to come!

Region 1AAAAAA

September 11th, 2012
9:21 pm

We all know the Tift Co. coach is recruiting!!!!! He recruited and got Greene from Mary Persons and word is he just got 3 players from Wilcox county. He got a point guard last year (Austin Pickens), but that didn’t work out too well. Pickens parents didn’t appreciate his coaching style. I can’t believe the people of Tift County would stand for this with their rich hoops tradition built on winning with their local Tift County kids. Hey, what are the kids that are actually from Tift Co gonna do? He is the reason the football program was set back!! He ailignated the kids that play basketball from the football coach!! The first year he came to Tift Co., he brought 3-4 Turner Co. boys with him and shoved aside alot of local kids. Parents of Tift Co. beware of selling your kids short so the coach can bring in out-of-towners and push your kids aside. You have paid taxes in Tift Co. for how many years?

Fulton County Parent

September 11th, 2012
9:27 pm

For some reason Fulton County Schools does not get reported on for misconduct like other School Systems. I guess we are lucky.