ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools is investigating illegal recruiting at Grady High School.
Superintendent Erroll Davis held a press conference Monday morning to announce that as many as 20 of the 60 players may have used fake addresses to attend the school and be on the team.
"We are taking swift and appropriate action to protect the integrity of the academic and athletic program," Davis said.
While the investigation takes place, the district has transferred Head Coach Ronnie Millen. Millen has been with APS for 28 years.
Davis said the system learned of the possible fraud after receiving a letter from an anonymous source on November 7.
In order for students to attend schools, parents must sign affidavits swearing to their home addresses. If the investigation finds they signed the forms illegally, they could be prosecuted by the Fulton County District Attorney's office.
"We depend on the integrity of parents who have an ethical obligation to the district to provide accurate addresses to the district," Davis said.
Among those reacting to news of the investigation is University of Georgia cornerback Damien Swann, who played at Grady High School under Coach Millen.
"Playing at Grady and for Coach Millen was the best thing that ever happened to me. He helped me become the player and person I am today. He's done a lot for that program," Swann said.
Millen became head coach in 2001 and has led the team to winning 12 or 13 seasons. This year's team was 8-3 and lost to Chestatee High School in Hall County in the first round of the playoffs.
In 2005, the team was 13-1, which allowed them the prestige of playing in the Georgia Dome for the semi-finals. In doing so, Grady became the last APS team to make it to that level of the state high school football playoffs.
The system hopes to complete its investigation in the next few weeks.
Atlanta Public Schools has a 24-hour tip line for the anonymous reporting of unethical or fraudulent acts. The number is (877) 801-7754.
Donna Lowry is a reporter for 11 Alive.