This is State Championship Week for high school football in Georgia. Later his week all attention will shift to the Georgia Dome where 7 state champions will be crowned. Seems like an odd time for news of an investigation into illegal recruitment of players by one of Atlanta Public Schools most successful football programs.
The Grady High School football program is the target of an investigation that sites over 20 players on this year’s team for attending the Midtown Atlanta school while using a false address. In the state of Georgia students are allowed to transfer to a school in another school district if that student’s family makes a bonafide move and relocates into the new school district. APS officials have been investigating the matter for over a month and if parents are found to have committed address fraud to get their child into Grady illegally they could face punishment by law.
The Grady Football team could have it’s season record of 8-3 taken away, and underclassmen could be suspended for all of next season. This would hurt the chances for rising seniors to earn scholarships for college for 2015.
Head Football Coach Ronnie Millen has been reassigned while the investigation continues. It was Millen’s winning record since becoming Head Coach in 2001 that has elevated the profile of Grady football, making it a model of consistent success. A longtime Grady assistant coach, while working at nearby Inman Middle School. Millen enjoyed the solid support of the community that surrounds the Grady campus, and when the supporters of B.E Mays High School attempted to lure him away it was the Grady parents and community that persuaded Millen to stay.
Damian Swann is a junior cornerback at the University of Georgia who played at Grady. When I caught up with him today Swann was happy to share memories of being a Grey Knight .”Playing at Grady and for coach Millen was the best thing that ever happened to me. He helped me become the player and person I am today” ,said Swann. “He’s done a lot for that program”.
In 13 seasons Millen’s teams posted a record 107-42-0 including a record of 13-1 in 2005.That was the year that Grady made it to the state semifinals at the Georgia Dome. That is what makes the timing of this whole thing so odd. No APS football team has made it to the Georgia Dome since the Grey Knights did it 8 years ago. As the state’s best head for the Dome this week, the Grady program is in the spotlight again, but for the wrong reasons.