Breaking News: Tucker High School girls’ basketball program under investigation

Tucker gym

Tucker High School’s girls’ varsity basketball team celebrated advancing to the Elite Eight in the Class AAAAAA playoffs Feb. 22, but there is a cloud hovering over that celebration.

The basketball program is being investigated by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA). The Champion was told by an anonymous source that the team has been accused of illegally recruiting players and of having players who live outside of the Tucker High School district.

“Tucker has six players who are living out of the Tucker High School district, which is a violation of GHSA rules,” the source said. “All six of these players transferred into Tucker this season after playing for the same AAU coach, who just happens to be a booster at Tucker High School.”

A representative from GHSA confirmed to The Champion that the basketball team is under investigation but would not provide further details.

According to by-law 1.71 (a) in the GHSA constitution, “the use of undue influence to secure or retain a student for competitive purposes is prohibited and shall lead to penalties being assessed against either school. This violation may cause the student to forfeit eligibility for one year from the date of enrollment.”

The rule also said If coaches are found to be in violation of the recruiting rule, a copy of the investigation will be forwarded to the Professional Standards Commission of the Department of Education.

The DeKalb County School District released a statement to The Champion, stating the district “has been made aware of allegations regarding a situation involving the Tucker High School girls’ basketball team. Once a concern was raised, the district began an immediate investigation. At this time, the alleged situation remains under investigation. We will go wherever the investigation leads us.”

Tucker has a 21-9 record under second-year coach James Oliver.

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6 thoughts on “Breaking News: Tucker High School girls’ basketball program under investigation

  • February 23, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    This fraudulent action of the Tucker high school basketball program should not be tolerated by GHSA, Bradwell should be awarded the win and advanced to elite 8. All parents and high school players/students should come in protest of this school-Tucker high school, very bad.

  • February 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with you Charlie. Look at how many people viewed this article. I wish they would all call Tucker High School and Dekalb Schools and voice their displeasure. This is sickening. Is this what the kids at Tucker are being taught by the adults there? Hey kids, do whatever it takes to win! How do the parents of these 6 illegal players look at their kids each day and not feel horrible? The AAU coach, the transfers, their parents and the coaches all knew what they were doing. Anyone who coaches knows these rules. They are recruiting, holding illegal practices, and living out of the district, and thy have been caught! Why is the Dekalb School System still letting this team play? There is enough proof to discipline NOW! Why are we making more teams suffer while they gets their ducks in a row?

  • February 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    How do you think we feel having Grovetown knocked out. Are you telling me Tucker and the county office knew about thiss and still allowed these kids to play. That is despicabel. So we play by the rules and screwed? I know there isn’t much our team will get out of this other than maybe a win due to Tucker forfeiting the season, but please don’t allow them to continue advancing in the State Tournament. A lot fo hard work goes into making it to the Final Four and teams should have to earn it, not steal it! Let’s go Dekalb, do the right thing for all kids, not just a few of your kids. Tucker has played 29 games this season. Think of the dozens of kids that have been cheated already!!!

  • February 24, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    You can tell by my name who I am with. Since this article just came out, I can see why maybe the team was allowed to play against Bradwell. But now that the news is out there officially, I would think Dekalb would be putting themselves in a really bad situation if they continued to allow those six players to play. I think the longer they are allowed to play, the more severe the GHSA is going to be on them when they find out. Doesn’t seem worth the risk for a trophy. If nothing is done, I hope Tucker wins the whole thing. Then they put their trophy in gym with a big asterisk next to.

  • February 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Doubt all six made bona fide moves! Doubt anyone at the school checked their residences to find out. Wonder if the county is checking now or giving them time to get their paperwork in order?

    1.62 A transfer student who has established eligibility at a former school in grades 9-12 shall be immediately
    eligible at the new school if:
    (a) The student moved simultaneously with the entire parental unit or persons he/she resided with at the
    former school, and the student and parent(s) or persons residing with the student live in the service area
    of the new school. This is known as a “bona fide move.”
    (2) It must be apparent that the parent(s) or the persons residing with the student and the student have
    relinquished the residence in the former service area and have occupied a residence in the new
    service area.
    (3) The following factors, although not conclusive, may be evidence of relinquishment of the former
    residence: Selling the residence and vacating it; OR vacating the residence and listing it for sale at
    a fair market value; OR vacating the residence and leasing it to another (other than a relative) at fair
    market value; OR abandoning the residence and shutting off the unnecessary utilities. NOTE: When
    a family claims multiple residences, the residence for which they apply for a homestead exemption
    will be declared the primary residence provided the family spends the majority of their time at this
    (4) The bona fide move is validated when the student’s family maintains the new residence for at least
    one calendar year. A return to the previous service area within that year renders the student to be
    a migrant student. All hardship appeal processes are available.

    Notice what 1.73 states. Coach Robert Stanard violated the rules intentionally or unintentionally when he decided to coach all of the girls who ended up at Tucker. He has to follow the same rules as the high school coach because he is a booster with a daughter on the team.

    1.72 A student athlete transferring from one member school to another shall be ruled ineligible for one year because
    of “undue influence” if it is proven that:
    (a) The coach of the receiving school coached an out-of-school team or all-star team on which the athlete
    played prior to the transfer; OR
    (b) The coach at the receiving school acted as a private athletic instructor for the transferring athlete,
    regardless of whether the coach was paid for his services and/or expertise; OR
    (c) The student participated in a sports camp or clinic run by a member school and/or its coach(es).
    (d) The player who played for a coach at a former GHSA school followed that coach when he/she moved
    to another GHSA school. (This is not applicable to dependent children of the coach.)
    (e) The situations cited in this by-law are considered to be violations even if a bona fide move has occurred,
    and the hardship appeal procedures are available for the demonstration that undue influence has not
    1.73 A booster shall be considered to be an extension of the school and must abide by all rules applied to coaches
    and other school personnel. The following persons or groups may be considered boosters: members of the
    school’s Booster Club; alumni; parents; guardians; or relatives of a student or former student; financial donors;
    donors of time and effort; students; personal trainers or coaches renting facilities.

    There is not telling what other rules have been broken that we haven’t heard about yet, but I imagine there have been afew illegal off-season practices since the AAU team with all the Tucker players on it practice at Tucker under the direct or indirect supervision of the Tucker Coach. Of course, Coach Stanard is a direct extension of Coach Oliver, so he has to follow the same rules!!!

    I wonder if thee GHSA or Dekalb County will have a different interpretation of the rules.

  • February 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    In the midst of the NCAA having done a full evaluation of the FBI investigation of Arizona paying $100,000 for 5 star recruits to play at their school, the same mindset of cheating and misappropriation of resources is being administered with the Tucker High School program. The facts are clear and it should be addressed immediately due to the fact the Champion newspaper published an article and the girls in question are very clearly not from the Tucker area and based on the records played on different high school teams last year (Redan, Stephenson, Grayson and others) . In a situation where the FBI has gotten involved at the college level, it allows us to understand the scope of the unethical and eventually illegal activity associated with the recruitment of players and delivering them to a program on a silver platter.
    The GHSA can act right now and show prompt action because the facts are readily available and situation is very similar to that in Arizona. After two weeks of this investigation, the situation should be very clear on what actions should be taken and allow the round two loser (Bradwell) to play in the next round. It sends the right message to the schools and coaches about how GHSA wants compliant policy administration, that it cares who is working in the GHSA schools and running the basketball programs across the state of Georgia.


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