No. 1-ranked Tift County boys cleared of recruiting charges by GHSA

The investigation into Tift County’s boys basketball program is over.

The GHSA has found no wrongdoing in allegations of recruiting that sparked the probe in October, the Tifton Gazette reported.

“It feels good to be vindicated,’’ Tift County High athletic director Rusty Smith told the Gazette. “We felt good about the situation, because the Georgia High School Association had approved every one of our players.’’

Tift County was placed on probation and fined a small amount for an illegal practice held in November of 2011, the newspaper reported.

Tift, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA, plays tonight (Wednesday) at home against McEachern in the first round of the state tournament.

61 comments Add your comment

Hubert Green

February 20th, 2013
9:32 am

How can you have an “illegal” practice in November? All of Milton’s players were also cleared by the GHSA; all made a bonafide move. I’m absolutely positive that B Greene’s mother’s being hired at Tift County had nothing to do with his ability to score 35 points a game. Nice work.

South Georgia B-ball

February 20th, 2013
9:43 am

WALB-TV in Albany got a different story from GHSA. It wasn’t as forgiving as the Tifton Gazette article.

What this does allow for is all out recruiting throughout the GHSA. If I was Milton, I would have a lot of questions they were punished and Tift was not.

Smug

February 20th, 2013
10:00 am

According to the Tifton Gazette article, the GHSA said the recruiting charges “could not be verified.” Not quite the same as clearing the program. But, let’s move on. The Doc has his work cut out for him in the state tournament. They still don’t play together well enough to win the whole thing.

BVB

February 20th, 2013
10:23 am

Don’t mess with the Blue Devils!

Know it all

February 20th, 2013
10:32 am

Illegal practice in Nov? Probably had non Tift County students involved.

MasterBlaster

February 20th, 2013
10:39 am

The saddest part about this is we’re talking about Tift County as a basketball powerhouse. It’s a darn shame that the Tifton community’s apathy toward poor leadership has allowed a very good football town to become a basketball town. Basketball is a winter diversion. That’s all it is in South Georgia. I don’t think Gene Brodie was an iconic state coach. He was a decent football coach. But he was a world-class grassroots organizer who rallied an entire county around its beloved football Blue Devils and built with his own bare hands a tremendous program and facilities. It’s been a revolving door since he stepped down, and now you have a program that has fewer players in it than some Class A teams. Just sad. Basketball recruiting allegations at Tift County? Are you serious? I long for the days when Brodie was fined and put on probation for scrimmaging another team in the spring. At least the emphasis was on the right program. The good ol’ boy network that wants to beat cheating Atlanta teams in basketball and that wants to win middle school football championships instead of developing players has ruined Tift County football. That is all.

SouthGa Fan

February 20th, 2013
11:13 am

One player was enrolled in another systems middle school program. The kid has transferred to Tift Co. but not moved to live in Tifton. The other player was a transfer who was academically ineligible. Can we say recruiting?? How many of Tifton’s basketball players played Middle school basketball there???

JLR

February 20th, 2013
11:41 am

MasterBlaster, Tift Co has been good basketball team program for years in the from 1990 to 2012 they have only missed going to the state playoffs a handful of times. They won state in 1996 and were rank number 6 in the nation. I know football rules the south but Tift Co basketball has represented South Ga very well over the years.

Hubert Green

February 20th, 2013
11:55 am

The difference between Milton’s situation and Tift’s is very simple. Milton was turned in by it’s own county for “undue influence” over a player who already lived in the district. Tift was turned in by another system. If GHSA even though they found each Milton transfer had made a bonafide move, had done nothing, it would have made Fulton County look even more ignorant than what they already were. In the meantime, every other school has significant transfers. Which to be frank about it, a parent has a right to do.

Silver Creek Dawg

February 20th, 2013
12:52 pm

MasterBlaster has obviously not paid attention to the Savannah area if he thinks that basketball is a winter diversion for HS athletes. We stink in football but do well on the court.

Sgabball

February 20th, 2013
12:52 pm

Smug, you must not be watching the same team. Tift is clicking right now and there’s not a team in the state that can stop them if they play like that. No one!!. Oh and Brunswick is a sleeper on the other side. They could cause some damage in the playoffs.

TIFT COUNTY

February 20th, 2013
1:02 pm

Nicely put Hubert, what we are failing to understand is that the boys who transfered in to Tifton was ok’d by GHSA before attending. If you read the article how could GHSA rule any other way. Tifton was dilingent in making sure no rules were being violated by making sure GHSA approved the transfers. That is why there was nothing to this investigation. Hubert, you are so right, the parent of any child has the right to let their child attend any school they want if they move to that jurisdiction. Times have changed and student athletes are looking for the program that offers the best opportunity for a college scholarship, and right now Tift is that school. By the way, wake up Tift, Tifton is a baketball town. You are not known throughout the state for your football program, trust me!

TIFT COUNTY

February 20th, 2013
1:16 pm

Masterblaster, I hear what your saying about football, but my take is that for the past four or five years the middle school program probably have lost three games combined. The talent is being developed there, it is at the HS level where it falls apart and the politics take over. The same kids that our middle school kids beat up on all through 6-7-8 grades now all of sudden we can’t beat them in HS. What gives? Tift needs to hire a coach and let him have control to put the best talent on the field and i bet you the program will turn around quick. Tift has an enormous talent pool not being tapped into.

just the truth

February 20th, 2013
1:22 pm

Just make every kid who transfers in from anywhere, ineligible for one year. That will stop all of this nonsense. Every kids deserves to go to the best school possible for an education only. Sports is an extra curricular activity and should be dealt with accordingly !

TIFT COUNTY

February 20th, 2013
1:49 pm

What do you think a scholarship opportunity affords the kid? a paid for four year education and a chance at a college degree. Everybody can’t afford today’s college tuition prices and the kids who use sports to help achieve this, more power to them. Also, in obtaining that scholarship you have to be able to get a high enough SAT score and ACT score, so the education part about attending a particular HS is all grouped in together with the term “student athlete”.

smitty

February 20th, 2013
1:50 pm

Now its time for GHSA to investigate Kennesaw Mountain HS baseball program!!

MasterBlaster

February 20th, 2013
2:10 pm

Hey TIFT COUNTY, you’re absolutely correct. The middle school program has been excellent, but that’s just my point. The good ol’ boys have had their buddies merging the program into one team so they can take that talent and go win meaningless middle school championships. It needs to be separated into several teams (see Valdosta, Lowndes, Colquitt), just like it used to be at Tift, so ALL players develop. You lose marginal players who would turn into good players in high school when they don’t get to play much if at all in middle school. The emphasis needs to be on the high school FOOTBALL program, not the middle school football program and certainly not the winter diversion basketball program. The only thing that matters in South Georgia and in Region 1 is football. Period. It is truly the only source of holistic school pride. I’ll rest my case with this: What do you hear about most: Tift County’s multiple great basketball teams or Tift County’s singular 1983 state championship team? By far, people talk about the 1983 football team more. It’s reached legendary status. Bring back that emphasis on football, and you’ll see a resurrection of pride.

JRW7

February 20th, 2013
3:15 pm

High school football use to be important at Tift Co!

Melvin Flowers/ Macon Georgia

February 20th, 2013
3:18 pm

You Got So Many Haters In Georgia, First Of All We Have A Coach At Tift County Knows The Game, And A Hell Of A Coach. Do Yall Guys Know Any Thing, These Kids Play AAU Basketball
They Work Hard To Be Better Players In The Summer. Stop Hateing And Build Your Program.
They Have a Great Baskeball Program There For Years To Come.
By The Way Tift Co, Lets Win The State This Year, Next Year, And Years To Come, Haters Shut Up.

UT

February 20th, 2013
3:33 pm

I played for Gene Brodie back in the day and basketball was never a good program. How times have changed.

Melvin Flowers/ Macon Georgia

February 20th, 2013
3:42 pm

UT All Players Cant Be a Basketball Players And Programs Get Better Over The Years.

South Georgia Coach

February 20th, 2013
3:47 pm

Guess I’ll address a lot of these in one post. All of this information I’m privileged to first hand from the parties involved or someone on the administrative level.

@Hubert Green – B Greene’s mother being hired at Tift Co had more to do with the girls basketball team than the boys. Greene’s mother and Tift Co girls coach were teammates in college. Were still in touch with each other, Greene’s mother is a coach that needed a job and Tift Co’s girls coach needed a JV coach (position had been open all of last season) and varsity assistant. The rest as they say is history.

The recruiting complaint, had nothing to do B. Greene. It was neighboring county and Tift Co’s boy’s coach former school, Turner Co that filled the complaint. So it’s mostly bad blood as Turner Co somewhat of a bball rivalry with Tift basically was bitter and has been bitter about coach Holland leaving. However, it wasn’t all a bball decision, Tift offered a promotion and pay raise from his previous position at Turner. Which the Turner Co administration refused to match. The Turner Co Complaint revolved around two players a 8th grader and a 11th grader. To clear because what a lot of people on the outside don’t know is the complaint wasn’t like two kids from two separate families being recruited. The two players are brothers, so if the parents move then naturally both of the kids would move.

The strange and telling thing about this complaint and probably even more evidence that it’s a vendetta and bad break up that Turner County had with Holland. Both of these players played a full season of football, for Tift Co varsity and 8th grade team. Yet, there was no complaint of the football team recruiting. Wonder why they decided to go after Coach Holland instead of the football program?

@MasterBlaster – Wake up, you’re living in the past. You sound like the UGA fan who have no real recent success to hang their hat on so you bring up the National title UGA won with Hercheal and Vince. Pretty irrelevant just like the Tift County’s 83 state championship team. Long story short, the last two head coaches Tift County had weren’t and aren’t the guys for the job. Current coach Reid, failed when he came in and alienated his best athletes that were returning, and turned off a specific population of students and citizens in Tifton. He’s making an attempt to right that now, I guess it took less than a year for him to realize what he needs to be successful here. By the way ask coach Reid if he thinks Tifton currently is a football town or basketball town. Considering the only legit D1 football prospects Tift should have returning to the field last season, all played basketball exclusively this year, the enthusiasm he and his staff have to see at each basketball game from the students and community, I think he will say its a basketball town.

You actually didn’t make your point but made @ TIFT COUNTY’S point. Tift County is a basketball town. I’ve known people from Tift County for 15 years and spoke to many current and retired coaches in the area, and even sports writers. No one and I mean NO ONE. Speaks about the 1983 team. I’ll rest my case with this: Tift County’s boys basketball team has made it to the state tournament for 20 plus consecutive years, I believe 91 or 92 was the last year they missed it.Take the current student body and every student from Tift county who had graduated in the past lets says 2 years. What do you truly think source of their holistic school pride is? The basketball team, that had made the state tournament every year of their life? Or the football team, who’s last great accomplishment was 12-15 years before they were BORN?? Kind of speaks for itself doesn’t it?

@ just the truth – Transfers sitting out a year will never happen and shouldn’t. This isn’t college. FYI – 3 weeks ago, a basketball player for Coffee County transferred to Colquitt Co. 2 weeks ago he played in his first varsity game for Colquitt Co. The thing that almost everyone knows is this was a football transfer. In order to have a legit chance at starting next year for Colquitt the player needed to be sure he transferred in time for spring football practices and workouts. Oh, and he wont be the only one transferring from Coffee to Colquitt before the end of the year.

CSM(R)

February 20th, 2013
3:52 pm

I played baseball under Coach Gene Brodie at Central High School in Macon, Ga in the late 60’s and early 70’s after schools were forced to integrate in Macon. Even though football was the king sport for us, Coach Brodie was commited to winning in all endeavors and he did it the right way without cheating or taking nonsense from student athletes. Coach Brodie would not put up with the things that are going on today. Coach Brodie checked to make sure we went to class,that we were passing our classes and even if you were a “superstar” athlete you still had to follow the rules or you would not be playing in his program. Coach Brodie was a great coach and even greater man in my estimation because he cared about us as players and as human beings. I am so grateful that he played a role in my life and taught me discipline, self-repect and mental toughness. May he Rest In Peace.

JLR

February 20th, 2013
4:07 pm

South Ga Coach well said!!!!! The last time Tift Co football was good was 1998 when they lost the state championship to Parkview. When Tommy Blackshear took over the Tift Co Basketball Program in the early 90’s he made Tift Co a basketball school with a lot of tradition that continues even today. We all love football but we love wining more, and that is what the basketball team has been able to do for over 20 years.

MasterBlaster

February 20th, 2013
4:17 pm

South Georgia Coach, a lot of programs make the state basketball playoffs every year or at least consistently. That does not mean they’re a powerhouse or even a basketball school. Some of them aren’t even that good.
I’ll tell you what, let Tift County win the next five state championships in a row in basketball. That’s fine. Everybody will be impressed with their run.
But let the Blue Devils get back to where they’re supposed to be in football and win ONE state championship in football. You’ll hear 100 times more about that one state championship that you will the five in a row in basketball. That’s a nice little gym Tift County has for basketball. Now waltz over to Eighth Street and look at what they build for football in South Georgia. My point is this: It does not matter how much success basketball has at Tift County from now until Jesus comes back because South Georgia is football territory. Tift County is a football town. It’s a sleeping giant because of horrible politics that has injected the anesthesia. They have managed to cripple a football program that should be challenging for state titles every single year just like Lowndes and Colquitt. A single-school, Class AAAAAA community in the heart of South Georgia, with all of those students and all of those wonderful facilities should be darn near dynastic. It’s a shame that basketball has filled the void. You’re not going to convince me that Tift is not a football school, bro. I was there in ‘83. My blood is blue and white. I know what that championship did to my school and my community. I’m not living in the past. I’m saying that the past proves my point of what should be happening in the present.

JLR

February 20th, 2013
4:33 pm

Master Blaster… I have to agree to disagree with you. You can’t bleed Blue and White and disrespect the Basketball team that has represented Tift Co. with blood sweat and tears just like any other sport. Nike gave Tift Co a contract not because of the football team in 1983 which I a proud you guys won but because the Basketball team was nationally rank and our coach was the Coach of the Year! So Please don’t disrespect those boys that play for the basketball team they have the same right to hold up the Blue and White!!!!!!!

MasterBlaster

February 20th, 2013
4:38 pm

JLR, I’m proud of them. God bless ‘em. And I do hope they win five in a row. I have screamed my head off for my basketball Blue Devils. It’s just a shame at what has happened to the most important program. Tift County is football territory. Always will be.

JLR

February 20th, 2013
4:46 pm

Master Blaster I would love for all our team to be powerhouses but no one program is more important than the other. All those kid work hard and should be celebrated and cheered for! Go Big Blue!!!!!!!!

Inside Stuff Jam Session

February 20th, 2013
5:07 pm

You know if you have questions regarding “legit moves”, anyone can view property records and see where player’s parents are taking homestead exemptions for tax purposes. If it isn’t a legit move, there are some possibilities of some tax ramifications and penalties. I believe both Turner and Tift’s records are available online and are able to viewed without a fee.

Inside Stuff Jam Session

February 20th, 2013
5:10 pm

Not just singling this story out, but property records would be standard in any situation regarding questions about whether players have made a “legit move”.

Greene

February 20th, 2013
5:21 pm

First off, B Greene’s mother did not need a job. She had renewed her contract with Mary persons High school for this year, and she was/is a tenured teacher and successful head volleyball coach.Winning regions as head volleyball coach and league and city champs in Basketball. Secondly my decision to move out of Monroe County was a decision decided years before we actually made the move.She and our family was loved dearly during our time in Monroe County,but I wanted out of that County and we applied for numerous jobs around the state and country each year and were accepted in each year.Tifton is a wonderful town for us, wonderful and accepting!

Bill Russell

February 20th, 2013
5:24 pm

Hubert , TIFT COUNTY and South Georgia Coach All together now: “Transferring is LEGAL; Recruting and Undue Influence is ILLEGAL.” Parents have a “right” to transfer; they don’t have a “right” to participate in unethical behavior.
By the way Hubert, TIFT COUNTY and South Georgia Coach if David Boyd at Milton had been half as smart as you guys he’d still be coaching.

FAN

February 20th, 2013
5:57 pm

i remember when washington high played them in 1987 for the state championship beat them

ChargerFan

February 20th, 2013
9:12 pm

JLR, I’m sorry, but you have a weak argument if you believe basketball is as important as football in Tift County. Sure, the basketball program may have had more success in recent years, but I dare say that gym hasn’t truly sold out for even one basketball game. You may want to go check the salaries of your head football coach and your head basketball coach to determine which is a higher priority. And you may also want to ride down Eighth Street and count the 14,500 seats in the Devil’s Den to realize they don’t build massive stadiums for basketball in South Georgia. Football still rules in South Georgia, and, yes, even in Tifton, even when the Devils stink. I’ll guarantee you this: Tift County in its two-win season averaged more fans for home football games than they have for home games in this superb basketball season. And don’t tell me that’s not a fair comparison and that it’s apples and oranges. Because you would be right. It is apples and oranges. And football is and always will be the big apple to basketball’s little orange. Now if this were North Carolina or Indiana….

marcus moore

February 20th, 2013
9:50 pm

South Ga Coach, thanks for the information it was clear and informative. Master Blaster, Tifton can have both. That is the problem with south ga schools, they seem to think that they have to be exclusively a football school. Norcross just won the state in football and are one of the favorite to win in basketball. I would think you want a competitive athletic program, not just a competitive football program. In the mean time sit your ass down and shut up

class of '06

February 20th, 2013
10:46 pm

please stop trying to make it seem as if Brodie was the ultimate man. I’ve heard from former players, black player, oh and a former coach that he wasn’t too fond of black ppl. So please stop trying to make it seem as if he was this perfect man because we know the truth. Of course football will bring in more money, look at the stadium. Also, there isn’t much to do in tifton so why not go to the football game on a friday night. The state championship that was won in 83 was a great accomplishment but i ask this question, what have you done for me lately. Looks to me like the head boys basketball coach should be the higher paid of the two. All that being said, I don’t understand why you want to down your alma mater’s basketball program when they have created a buzz all over Georgia and the nation for that matter. How many games have you been to this season? I’ll wait. You should be embracing your alma mater’s athletics. You shouldn’t down one program because you don’t care for the sport. So you are correct. Tifton is a football town, but my question is why though?

Hardcoredevil59

February 21st, 2013
1:40 am

Enter your comments here

TIFT COUNTY

February 21st, 2013
7:43 am

Charge fan, it is apparent you don’t go to basketball games because your comment of the basketball team not selling out home games is wrong. Tift vs. Valdosta was standing room only, Tift vs. Coffee standing room only, Tift vs. Buford standing room only, Tift vs. Westover standing room only, this season every boys home game has been a sellout. You need to come support. Right now in the present, Tift county is a basketball town and the way the football program looks until they get the politics out of that program, Tift will be a basketball town for years to come.The Tift county athlete will flock to the basketball program.

TIFT COUNTY

February 21st, 2013
7:57 am

Master blaster, your heart is in the right place and i get it, you are a football guy. I am a basketball guy, not much into football, but i buy my season ticket and attend each football home game and follow them on the road, just to give my support for those boys. I’ve learned alot about our football program over the years and there is just to much bureaucratic BS going on behind the scenes that kill the program. Another blogger stated look at the coaches salary and you will see what program is best. Well I think if your a business man we are getting better returns on our money with the basketball program. So you would think someone should be having some serious discussion on the direction of the football program and how can we maximize the money spent. Another thing the coach needs to endear himself to all communities in Tift county, if not, his program will fail.

MasterBlaster

February 21st, 2013
9:32 am

Totally agree with you, TIFT COUNTY. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make. I’m rooting for the Blue Devils to win it all in basketball, but it just saddens me what they have done to the football program there. It is possible to have both. Heck, we used to be awesome in football and baseball at the same time. I don’t know why we can’t be great in football, basketball, baseball, and track every single year. I know this: In 1983, we won 10 region championships out of 13 possible sports, the Blue Devil Brigade won grand champion in every major competition it entered, we sent a gob of students to All-State in chorus, and we pretty much dominated anything we touched. Why? Because of great leadership and a community-wide commitment. Why is that missing? What happened?

Tift Fan

February 21st, 2013
9:53 am

For the record, every home game in Tift has not been a sell out. Not even close. But the big games have been well attended.

South Ga Fan

February 21st, 2013
9:55 am

It is not a coincidence that suddenly Tift hired the mother of a standout basketball player. If you believe the two moves arent related, then you need to seek medical help.

South Ga Fan

February 21st, 2013
9:57 am

Also, it is simplifying things dramatically to say that Turner had/has a vendetta against Holland. Most of us understood and were happy when he got the opportunity to go to Tift. We wouldnt have any hard feelings at all if he would have left and left us alone. Unfortunately, it hasnt happened that way.

It should also be noted that DJ Bryant was practicing football in Turner County for most of the summer then all of a sudden he just up and moves.

Hubert Green

February 21st, 2013
10:03 am

@Bill Russell; It’s a miracle for any coach to last at Milton five years, much less play for four state championships, winning two of three. Not a bad run. Good luck to Tift Co.

Sideline Dude

February 21st, 2013
10:07 am

Saw the BB team beat up on McEachern last night. Good thing they have Mr. Green. He got 30 points. Although the other guys are pretty good, they wouldn’t be a championship caliber team without him. Go Big Blue.

Inside Stuff Jam Session

February 21st, 2013
10:53 am

From what i’ve been told, the only people that are upset at Greene’s transfer are teachers at Tift County. It seems to open up an office for Mrs. Greene meant that other Tift teachers lost their offices. I think it showed all the teachers what the Tift County administration really thought was important. I don’t think it’s anger at the Greene’s by any means, but more frustration at the direction of leadership in the school system.

Also, Turner County wasn’t sad to see Holland leave, just as many in Tift won’t be sad to see him leave if he doesn’t win state this year. And if he doesn’t win state, he’s fired.

I keep wondering when the school system will put a gag order on their employees for all things basketball. In fact, that’s where most of the Tiftarea gets their information. Ironically, the things Tift teachers say match the things said in Turner 4 years ago.

Inside Stuff Jam Session

February 21st, 2013
11:04 am

Also, when teachers are being furloughed and are deprived resources, it is a double standard for additional money to be given to athletics. It’s even worse when coaches are given titles as Principal just to increase their pay. That’s an example of what’s wrong with education in America. Education is no longer the priority for school systems.

TIFT COUNTY

February 21st, 2013
1:03 pm

Inside stuff jam session, no additional money is given to the basketball program. the basketball program has sponsorship like nike, McDonlads, Zaxaby, etc. who help the program. The football program has the same financial help with the touch down club, and previous alumni. Your axe to grind is not with athletics, it is with the people who allow the things you are talking about to happen. Another question, how can one person obtaining one office cause multiple teachers to lose their office? it sounds like if anything one person may have been displace or have to share an office. Again Turner county or whoever, the program attracts students. The ability to get exposure to college coaches and have an opportunity to get a scholarship is what drives these parents to relocate. A kid from Coffee just transfered to Colquitt, strickly a football move because the opportunity is better for him there. It is a simply equation unless some of the programs around don’t get their head out the sand and network with college coaches for exposure for their players, look for more of the same to happen.

TIFT COUNTY

February 21st, 2013
1:10 pm

South GA fan, why are you blaming the kid from turner county move on the basketball program. He played a full season of football before basketball. Why not blame the football program? I heard he had Auburn looking at him. You said he left in the middle of spring football practice and came to tift. Well that was during tift’s football spring practice. So again your anger seems guided at the basketball program.

TIFT COUNTY

February 21st, 2013
1:14 pm

Tift fan, games well attended, the Valdosta game the upper walk way was full because no seats available. The same with Coffee,Westover, and Buford. Now granted the girls game were slim at times but by the time the boys game started you were hard press to find a seat.