Counselors at Hoover High School this spring sent a second, different transcript for a football player to the University of Alabama after the university called to say the player was unexpectedly ineligible, according to the high school's former principal.
The second transcript contained a grade change that was "an honest mistake" and that made the player eligible, said Richard Bishop, who has sued the school system over his dismissal as principal.
The player is Josh Chapman, a highly recruited freshman defensive tackle at Alabama, The Birmingham News has learned.
The grade change is one of several allegations involving academics at Hoover High that are being investigated by retired federal judge Sam Pointer Jr. on behalf of the school system.
Some other allegations involve whether a teacher was pressured to give a certain grade to a football player. The News has learned that player is Kerry Murphy, a highly rated Alabama signee who failed to qualify academically this year and is attending prep school.
The University of Alabama declined to comment about Chapman's case. Messages left with Chapman were not returned, and Alabama denied an interview request to speak with him.
Pointer's probe also includes complaints of a teacher feeling pressure from Borie and Martin over another senior football player's grades. The News has learned the student was Murphy.
Bishop said teacher Nikki Townsend reported to him in February that she felt pressured by Borie and Martin, who was the ninth-grade assistant principal at the time.
The contract for Townsend, who was Murphy's English teacher last year, was not renewed at Hoover and she now teaches at Vestavia Hills High School. She declined to comment.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
It took a couple of months, but the full story behind the academic shenanigans at Hoover High in metro Birmingham is finally breaking. I have to admit that I'm completely shocked to have read this in the Birmingham News, but credit where it's due, the paper has stayed behind this story amidst what had to be incredible pressure to spike it:
Posted by Will Collier at 8/22/2007