EGR sports put on one-year probation
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
By Dave Murray
The Grand Rapids Press
EAST GRAND RAPIDS -- State athletics authorities have put East Grand Rapids Public Schools on a one-year probation for recruiting student-athletes for sports teams.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association also put strict limits on parent Kevin Grady Sr.'s access to athletic programs and facilities, and ordered East Grand Rapids to better screen students transferring to make sure they have not been improperly influenced.
The volume of complaints against East shows there was "inappropriate behavior by this parent," MHSAA leaders said in a report issued today. They also concluded that school administrators were "too passive" and should have asserted control over Grady.
"We do not agree that the East Grand Rapids School District is 'caught in the middle' but that its coaches, administrators and school board have had the means to properly criticize this parent's activity and effectively prohibit it with policies and procedures," the report said.
The MHSAA report said the district's athletic program is on probation, but shall not be restricted as long as these conditions are met:
- Grady is denied access to all athletic events at East Grand Rapids High except to be a spectator at events his in which his children participate.
- Grady is prohibited from using any East Grand Rapids facilities for any purpose. He coaches the Grady Elite Basketball AAU team that has used district facilities rent-free.
"We're glad that there are no penalties for our students and our faculty," Superintendent James Morse said today. "They're basically going to monitor us for a year to see that we are doing the things we already promised we'd be doing."
Grady today said he hadn't seen the report and declined to comment.
Grand Rapids Public Schools administrators complained that Grady, father of star school football and basketball players, offered housing to families of three athletes to get them to move into East Grand Rapids.
Three East athletes live in houses rented from Grady, who is in the real estate business. Grand Rapids leaders collected complaints from other athletes who said they, too, were offered housing.
East Grand Rapids educators met with Grand Rapids leaders in February to address concerns raised by the city schools, and agreed to send a letter to Grady asking him to halt any activity that could be perceived as recruiting.
The districts also agreed to meet with any parents planning to transfer their students to make sure they were not being unfairly influenced.
Edited by Searn, 19 April 2005 - 03:30 PM.