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Milton's Boyd Resigns Over "Undue Influence"

Courtesy of Walter Pinion
Courtesy of Walter Pinion

The 2011-12 Class AAAAA boys basketball state champions will try and defend their title without head coach David Boyd after the championship coach resigned from Milton Monday. 
Milton principal Clifford Jones and Fulton County Athletic Director Dr. Steven Craft addressed the media Tuesday, revealing that Milton had self-reported allegations of what the Georgia High School Association is terming “undue influence” in its boys varsity basketball program.

“As a result of the investigation, we have had a coaching change in our boys basketball program,” said Jones. “It is unfortunate news, but we are moving forward. We are moving forward with integrity and excellence within our program to put our school where it needs to be.”

Undue influence is a GHSA term mentioned in by-law 1.71 that is defined as “the use of influence by any person connected directly or indirectly with a GHSA school to induce a student of any age to transfer from one school to another, or to enter the ninth grade at a member school for athletic or literary competition purposes, whether or not the school presently attended by the student is a member of the GHSA.”

“If you look at the rule under the bylaw, there’s five or six different things that could happen that the GHSA could determine to be undue influence,” said Craft. “There is the allegation (of recruiting) that we will turn in to the GHSA to let the GHSA determine ... but there is the allegation of undue influence.”

The process moved quickly according to both Jones and Craft after the allegation was brought forward within the last few weeks.

“Very simply, an allegation was brought to my attention, I sat down with Mr. Jones, we discussed it, and we felt like there was probably enough merit to investigate, so we investigated the situation,” said Craft.

Fulton County handled the investigation without the assistance from an outside agency before turning over the findings to the GHSA for a ruling.

“We acted very quickly and decisively on the findings,” said Jones. “We take every allegation seriously. We are working together to try to move forward so that we can support our student athletes, their families and our school.”

While Milton’s self-reporting wouldn’t help or hurt in the GHSA’s ruling, Craft and Jones both agreed that it was simply the right thing to do.

“We want to build a program of integrity and excellence and we’re going to move forward in that vein,” said Craft. “It’s our job to act on those allegations, and when we find something, we want to make sure we hold our program and our values up to that standard.”
Boyd resigned after leading Milton to two state titles (2010, 2012) and another berth in the finals. According to Milton’s website, Boyd’s overall record is 573-186 and his resume includes six state titles as a head coach, including titles at Milton, Tucker, Berkmar and Campbell. Boyd’s squads have also claimed 12 region titles and eight quarterfinals appearances. No timetable has been set on naming a replacement and no interim coach has been named.

“We’re moving forward and we don’t have anyone as of yet,” said Jones.
Craft would not comment on whether Boyd would have been fired had he not resigned. Jones told the players yesterday about the resignation and sent a letter home to parents of the players.

Delivering a message like this is hard,” said Jones. “It’s hard on our student athletes, it’s hard on our community, but we’re going to move forward. Milton will have the ideas and ideals of integrity and excellence as the basis of this program moving forward.
The Eagles will try to move forward without Boyd, as well as without Evan Nolte (UVA), Shaq Johnson (Auburn) and Charles Mann (UGA), who helped Milton capture the 2011-12 state title. Junior Jalyn Patterson was expected to star for the Eagles this year under Boyd, whose last two point guards have gone on to accept major conference scholarships.