View Full Version : The Oddest (Football ) Recruiting Tale Ever ?

02-05-2008, 07:29 PM
Was it a Cruel Hoax ? (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/news/story?id=3232661)

It looked like an American dream come true, but now somebody's going to experience a nightmare.

Students, television and newsprint reporters packed the gym at Fernley (Nev.) High School to hear offensive lineman Kevin Hart give a verbal commitment to play football at the University of California. He chose Cal over Oregon.

"They really sold me," Hart said, according to USA Today. "Coach [Jeff] Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience."

The only problem … neither Cal nor Oregon recruited Hart.

and from the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080205/PREPSPORTS/802050369/1018) :

The commitment was almost immediately called into question on recruiting Web sites and message boards, and the story attracted national attention from SportsIllustrated.com.

A police report was filed Saturday with the Lyon County Sheriff's Department. It was not known Monday what was in that report, but Hodges and NIAA executive director Eddie Bonine intimated Sunday it could be that Hart, his family and the school were duped by an imposter

And this update:

The Lyon County Sheriff's Department acknowledged late Tuesday a third party was allegedly involved in the recruiting gone bad of Fernley offensive lineman Kevin Hart.

Hart claims, in a report taken Saturday by the LCSD, that a Kevin Riley falsely represented himself as a recruiter -- a middle man to big-time college football programs -- and led the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder and his family to believe there were scholarship offers available when there were none.

Obtaining money with a false pretense is the charge on the report at this time, said Deputy Dan Lynch, who took the report. Finding Riley could be difficult, though.

"It's an ongoing investigation but we have no suspect at this point and no info to identify a suspect," Lynch said.

Lynch spent 1 1/2 hours Saturday taking statements from Hart and Fernley coach Mark Hodges at the school, a day after Hart verbally committed to California Berkeley during a momentous school assembly that had Hart's father, Richard, holding back tears.

The purported recruiter coincidentally has the same name as a Cal redshirt freshman quarterback.

Lynch declined to say how much money the Hart family paid Riley, or how the purported recruiter kept in contact with Hart and Hodges.

And, today ( Wed ) the truth comes out:

RENO, Nev. -- A Fernley High School football player who had claimed he was duped into believing he was recruited to play at a Pac-10 school admitted Wednesday he made up the story.

Kevin Hart, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman, offered a broad apology in a statement he issued Wednesday afternoon through the Lyon County School District. He said he had wanted to play football at a Division I school "more than anything."

"When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I made up what I wanted to be reality. I am sorry for disappointing and embarrassing my family, coaches, Fernley High School, the involved universities and reporters covering the story," Hart said.

02-06-2008, 05:01 PM

would it have been so bad for the kid to walk-on @ a NAIA school or something...

02-06-2008, 07:25 PM
Fernley is where the levee broke last month. . .the town is still reeling from that and to have this fiasco hit the airwaves. . .the vast majority of our production associates live there and they think it makes their town look silly.

02-07-2008, 11:24 AM
RGJ.com Coverage (http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080207/PREPSPORTS/802070361/1018)

Here are a few of the statements Kevin Hart made immediately following his announcement ceremony on Friday:

“Coach (Jeff) Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience.”

“I’m sure it won’t hit me until I hit the practice field until I get welcomed to the Pac-10. It’s till sinking in right now.”

“It really wasn’t even the visit. It was the tradition and the fact that when you walk up there you don’t have to talk about tradition. When you walk up, you can feel it around you.”

“I had a really good recruiting experience. I had coaches from everywhere. Oregon, Illinois, they’re all great coaches and I didn’t really have a bad recruiting experience. But like every other guy I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad I can go back to normal.”

“I want to major in education because I know not everyone makes it to the NFL and I want to coach some day.”

“I think it’s good I can maybe show people (from Fernley) you can do it. My personal opinion is anyone can play college football. You just have to have the will and desire to play and work hard.”

“I could have signed with a junior college school and they would have supported me. That just says a lot about the kind of family and friends I have.”

“I be honest, I kept this (decision of Cal) pretty locked up. I didn’t let it out.”

“Playing time, to me, was a little bit of a factor. But I wanted to go a place that had some competition, where I was going to have to work hard and that’s something coach Tedford explained to me -- that if I didn’t like competition, don’t go to Cal because they earn everything they get.

“There’s always pressure, but I’m just going to go about my business and do what I’ve always done.”

“When I went to the Oregon camp in June, right after that they offered me a scholarship.”

“There’s negative people all around you and you just kind of have to work through that. Other than that I’ve haven’t had nay bump in the road. ... It was just me deciding to work hard and forget what the standard at Fernley is, and that’s to finish high school and stay in town and get drunk or go to UNR. I chose differently.”

02-08-2008, 05:42 PM
Column (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=3236039)

As early as last September, Hart told his school newspaper, the Vaquero Voice, that he was being recruited by Nevada, Boise State, Washington, Oregon, Cal, and Oregon State -- and that Oregon and Washington had already offered him full scholarships. And last Friday, Hart told reporters how difficult it had been to choose between a list of finalists that included Cal, Oregon, Nevada, Illinois and Oklahoma State.

All lies.

And to sum it all up:

The one truth in all of this is that nobody can do to Hart what he's already done to himself.