15 Dallas ISD athletic employees fired in recruiting scandal

Posted Friday, Jun. 06, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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School Superintendent Mike Miles on Friday announced the firings of three top managers in the district’s athletic department and 12 other employees, including coaches, assistant coaches and teacher assistants.

The fired coaches included the head and assistant coaches at Wilmer-Hutchins and James Madison high schools, which were part of a two-year WFAA/News 8 investigation into reports of illegal athletic recruiting at Dallas high schools.

Miles said he has asked the University Interscholastic League for assistance in taking away the 2014 Class 3A boys state basketball championship from James Madison, where the staff is accused of improperly recruiting at least one of its basketball stars.

According to a statement from Miles, 10 employees were terminated for falsifying documents. One employee was fired for “improperly obtaining and sharing student records.”

The athletic administrators fired are athletic director Jeff Johnson, head of the program since 2007, and assistant athletic directors Goree Johnson and Marian Willard.

Also fired were head boys varsity basketball coaches Roderick Johnson of Madison and John Burley of Wilmer-Hutchins.

Two weeks ago, News 8 traced the fates of two players who were roommates and also rivals. Troy Causey, 18, played basketball for Wilmer-Hutchins. Johnathan Turner, 19, was a star player for the state champions, James Madison High. Yet, both players lived in the same house in southern Dallas apart from their parents and with little or no supervision.

On the night of March 23, Causey and Turner got into a fight over a video game. Causey died in the fight, and Turner was charged with murder.

Since that time, News 8 learned that coaches from both schools apparently falsified residency and transfer documents to make it appear the teens lived in homes in the proper attendance zones.

Family members of both students reported that the two were actively recruited to play basketball in conflict with state athletic rules that forbid the recruitment and transfer of students to other schools for athletic purposes.

News 8 has spent the past two years documenting reports of improper transfers inside of and into the Dallas school district by students who later starred on the basketball court.

In 2012, WFAA reported allegations that the entire 2011 state championship team from Dallas Kimball High School moved into Kimball’s attendance zone for the sole purpose of playing basketball.

“We have to hold ourselves accountable,” Miles said Friday. “We have a responsibility to these kids and we have a responsibility to the entire district to keep the kids safe and make sure the athletic programs are run with integrity.”

bshipp@wfaa.com jtrahan@wfaa.com

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