GHSA’s Swearngin on Milton: ‘I was a little surprised’

The GHSA on Tuesday banned Milton’s boys basketball program from playing in the 2012-13 high school state tournament after reviewing allegations that coach David Boyd used undue influence to persuade student-athletes to transfer to the school. Boyd resigned on Sept. 10.

GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin provided his thoughts about the investigation and provided a state of the union, of sorts, for high school sports in the state.

Q: What was your reaction in reading the Fulton Schools investigation?

A: This struck me as taking the college model for getting students to come to a school and putting it at the high school level. There was a nationwide recognition for the quality of coach that Boyd was and the level of the play of his program. People were beating down his door to come play. … By our rules, it’s not necessarily recruiting, but the services being offered we thought were undue influence.

Q: Did the findings surprise you?

A: I was a little surprised that this flourished out in the open and other coaches and other people didn’t call our attention to it earlier.

Q: Does that mean school systems must help the GHSA in policing this?

A: Hopefully this sends message that schools and districts should look at themselves and make sure they conduct themselves the way high school sports are intended to be. If [parents and student-athletes] are in this to find the best school for getting recognition and scholarships, it’s a rather self-centered situation. I don’t think it ought to be that way.

Q: Can the GHSA do more to get a handle on alleged recruiting and undue influence?

A: The one thing that made this significantly different is this is the first time we’ve had so much hard data in terms of printed-out emails. So many times, even when we send private investigators into the field, it boils down to one person said this, another said that. We’re at the mercy of who will talk and give verifiable evidence.

Q: Will the GHSA investigate Milton regarding past players who transferred?

A: We are not now presently involved or anticipating a continuation of any investigation. We’re making a ruling on what we have right now. At this point, I don’t feel it necessary to dig that far because what happened was the school and the school system did an investigation and self-reported. I was commissioned to respond to their self-report.

33 comments Add your comment


October 9th, 2012
4:15 pm

Take the trophies too.


October 9th, 2012
4:26 pm

If you take Milton’s awards you better go after half the football programs in Dekalb County with all those transfers makes Milton look clean !

Wake up call

October 9th, 2012
5:01 pm

Dr Swearingin get your head out of your ‘hole. You need to look at most not all of the programs that suddenly start winning with kids that tranfer, how hard is that? GHSA doens’t want to be bothered. Maybe it is time we told them goodbye and start a new Ga High Shool Conference. Do your job!!!


October 9th, 2012
5:06 pm

Milton Players will now transfer again..

No investigations and it on it.


October 9th, 2012
5:07 pm

Well said @ 5:01…

Steve Daniels

October 9th, 2012
6:37 pm

He was surprised that other coaches didn’t say anything?????? Are you kidding???? Everyone else is doing it too…..I Give Up!

Steve Daniels

October 9th, 2012
6:39 pm

Is this about what Ralph wants or what is best for the kids?

If [parents and student-athletes] are in this to find the best school for getting recognition and scholarships, it’s a rather self-centered situation. I don’t think it ought to be that way.

Blind Ambition

October 9th, 2012
7:00 pm

How can he be surprised? He has ignored it for years and the list of schools is very lengthy. Nothing will change until good ole boys are gone or a new association is formed.

Are you kidding me?

October 9th, 2012
8:00 pm

1. Everybody knew this is what was going and Swearngin don’t tell us this came as a surprise as this is what he did at every school he was “teaching”/ coaching? 2. If you know his professional history everyone knows Boyd is unethical. Once a cheater always a cheater!! 3. If AAU coaches in Texas tell you they talk to Boyd on a regular basis because he is always trying to get their players, then I think Boyd was not so much known for being a good coach but more as a great
recruiter. 4. Yes, there are lots of coaches and schools who do the same thing but GHSA will continue to close their eyes to it and pretend no one told them. #SMH!

loyal dawg

October 9th, 2012
8:34 pm

Ralph, surprised? BS Boyd has been doing this for years. Others too. Look at Football, Dekalb to Gwinnett. Soccer and baseball too. It is a joke. Schools have brought video evidence to Ralph and he did nothing in the past. Now, he is acting like Saint Ralph I am going to puke

Just a fan

October 9th, 2012
8:36 pm

Forget about Dekalb co football programs…they stink…now take a trip out to university of Buford….

loyal dawg

October 9th, 2012
8:41 pm

True Buford U should be looked into.


October 9th, 2012
8:43 pm

Harrison’s girls bball has a recruiting coup underway that they think is going unnoticed, but it’s not. There are several coaches, from Cobb and Paulding, waiting to see what happens to the current 8th grader and if her father mysteriously starts working at the school because they definitely don’t live in the community!

I dropped my fried twinkie

October 9th, 2012
8:44 pm

If this is the guy running the show no wonder cheating is so easy. What a blind Moe Ron.


October 9th, 2012
9:49 pm

The “can of worms” is now open….


October 9th, 2012
10:07 pm

Selective enforcement just like the po po……GHSA has rules but neither the time or money to enforce them. Did I leave out desire?


October 9th, 2012
10:36 pm

Swearngin and the rest of the GHSA Bubbas are stuffed shirts. The clear message is that GHSA has their thumb up their butt while helicopter parents and over-ambitious coaches turn H.S. sports into a semi-pro circus.

Support your local schools. Most of all, let the kids play.


October 9th, 2012
11:13 pm

And they say private schools recruit .


October 9th, 2012
11:16 pm

??????????????? Look at the University of Tucker ??????????????? Also the University of Dunwoody B Ball

Who Me?

October 10th, 2012
12:00 am

This is nothing more than selective enforcement and if you think its not being done in other sports in other counties, get your head out of your rectum. Milton is no more guilty of it than other high profile football programs in the state (Buford isn’t recruiting????) and yet only when a coach from a competing school lays everything out for the GHSA do they do anything at all.

You want parity in your high school athletics?? don’t come to this state.


October 10th, 2012
12:18 am

Swearngin’s a little surprised ? …………. I’m big time surprised that you finally did anything. Your like the cop who catches one speeder out of hundreds on the interstate.

Real Coach

October 10th, 2012
6:39 am

Look at these schools to, Boyd wasn’t alone. If you get one get them all. Dont just pick on him, get everybody.

1. Miller Grove
2. Southwest Dekalb
3. Shiloh
4. Columbia
5. Tucker

only a matter of time

October 10th, 2012
6:47 am

Ralph, really?? the report came out earlier this year 6,000 students transferred this past year alone. GHSA is is making plenty of money pimping kids and the cycle never ends. Go to any middle school basketball or football game and the recruiting is insane. Eighth graders mysteriously “move” and change schools.

HS Recruiter

October 10th, 2012
7:30 am

Columbus (GA) High School baseball: A recruiting scandal waiting to be exposed.


October 10th, 2012
7:50 am

Ralph Swearinger is a complete BOOB. He turns a blind eye to reknown cheaters like Milton and Buford to name a couple and puts it on the “public and coaches” to do his job. If a program comes from nowhere to STATE championships and national recognition in 2 years the GHSA should be on guard for cheating. Instead they sit around enjoying the accolades of national attention while kids/parents that rightfully go to high school (and pay for the sports programs) have to compete with cheater schools.

Apparently Buford just is too smart for Ralph. I bet you at any given time there are 5 or more starters on Buford’s team that don’t even live in Gwinnett county. Chatthoochee football goes 15-0 two years ago with 3 senior kids who hardship into the school from neighboring their senior year and no one ever blinks an eye.

Shame on you Mr. S.

Walker, Texas Ranger

October 10th, 2012
8:31 am

How can this guy be suprised when the same thing happened at every school this guy has ever been. He is a grade A slime ball.


October 10th, 2012
8:54 am

@congaman. From what I know from reliable source. Harrison hired the coach and daughter is going to play.

former coach

October 10th, 2012
9:00 am

that is why ralph needs to be fired. a little suprised. im a little suprised that you are that dumb. time to clean out ralph and the good ole boy system at ghsa. if you are really suprised then you are incompenent and unqualified for the job. maybe the state needs to investigate ghsa and see what is going on there because if you were suprised about milton maybe we would be suprised about the going on of the good ole boy ghsa. i have had to deal with ghsa and it is a joke. if you take the right kids in about hardship they are scared not to approve it. if you take the wrong kid in they will turn you down. right kid, wrong kid you figure that one out.


October 10th, 2012
9:22 am

former coach: I agree. Everyone is not telling the same lies about some of these programs in girls and boys bball. Stevie Wonder can see it. I called just to see what would happen and they basically said unless I had hard evidence, videos, etc then there was nothing they could do. Really? Look at Norcross Girls State Champ team from a few years ago. You had 2 girls from Marietta High, several from Stephenson, and 1 from Paulding. Why do we know this and the director doesnt?


October 10th, 2012
2:16 pm

The GHSA is the biggest waste of money. They drain the highschools athletic departments and do very little. Talk to a HS AD about all of their fees and how they get a cut of every playoff game. For what? Everybody knew what Boyd was doing he sa been doing it for decades.


October 10th, 2012
10:37 pm

@HS Recruiter, Kids have to test to get into Columbus, so you can live in the southern end of Muscogee County near Cusseta, and get in as long as you score high enough on their entrance test. So, of course the best are going to want to go play for the National baseball coach of the year, and I’m from LaGrange. Yeah they got the entire team that won the little league world series lol..but if you look at the quality of schools in muscogee county it breaks down like this..

Basketball-Jordan Girls BB-Kendrick

Honestly, if you look at the schools being named, they’re in a county with MULTIPLE (lets say 3 or more) high schools. Anyone else see that correlation? Of course it’s going to be hard to police and even harder to police since everyone but fans turn a blind eye to it


October 10th, 2012
11:50 pm

Haven’t you looked into the possibility that administrators knew this was going on too? I mean, is it really fair for Coach Boyd to get ALL the blame? I think you should dig deeper into the politics of Milton High School … the school can really pull some crooked deals. I know, for I was the recipient of that school’s wrath … My life there was absolutely miserable … Wish I could share my situation with you as well!


October 10th, 2012
11:52 pm

I would really like to get with you about the way Mr. Jones (now Principal of Milton High School) treated me. he is so two-faced.