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DISD Fires 15 Employees Over Athlete Recruiting Scandal

Bill Zeeble
Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles telling reporters that he's fired 15 employees, mostly athletic coaches, including 4 central staff administrators, orver a recruiting scandal

Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles announced Friday afternoon that he has fired 15 employees, including coaches and central staff members, over a student athlete recruiting scandal.

Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News
DISD has announced it's firing 15 school employees over an athlete recruiting scandal.

As a result of an internal district investigation into athletic recruitment violations, DISD is firing 10 employees, mostly coaches and assistant coaches, for "knowingly falsifying student residency documents."

An 11th employee has been fired for "improperly obtaining and sharing student records."

Schools affected include Wilmer-Hutchins, Conrad and Madison High Schools. 

Four central staff members have also been let go.

Miles told reporters all dismissals were tied to police looking into the March death of Wilmer-Hutchins high school basketball player Troy Causey. Miles said the investigation uncovered possible residency and other violations of University Interscholastic League rules, the UIL.

“As a school district.” Miles said, “we cannot and will not allow violations of UIL policy to continue to happen. Violations have continued to occur. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Previous reports suggest Causey and another player were illegally recruited to play at schools not in their home district. The UIL may decide some games must be forfeited.

“To students who are affected by this situation,” Miles said, “I want you to know that the decisions by adults to break the rules in no way diminishes your hard work or commitment. However, the consequences of their actions do directly impact you and that is unfair and disappointing.”

Miles said the police investigation into the player’s death, and the district’s investigation into possible UIL violations continue. He said the district reported its findings to the University Interscholastic League. 

The Dallas Morning News reports:

A months-long district investigation found that coaches fabricated student residency documents to get star athletes from other parts of town to play at DISD high schools. Of the terminated employees, most are coaches and assistant coaches implicated in the recruiting investigation, sources said. Another coach, who was accused of improperly sharing student records, was also fired. ... The district’s Professional Standards Office launched the investigation after the March 24 death of Wilmer-Hutchins basketball player Troy Causey. Madison basketball player Johnathan Turner has been charged with killing him during a fight. Turner led the Madison Trojans to the 2013 and 2014 Class 3A state championships. Turner was selected to the 3A all-tournament team this year.

WFAA-TV reports:

In May, DISD officials placed two coaches — John Burley, a coach at Wilmer-Hutchins High School, and Roderick Johnson, a coach at Madison High School — on administrative leave as an internal investigation was underway into whether state rules prohibiting the recruitment of high school athletes were violated. The probe followed the beating death of 18-year-old Troy Causey, a basketball player at Wilmer-Hutchins High School. Johnathon Turner, a 19-year-old Madison High School basketball player, was arrested in connection to the fatal beating. 

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