Mount Pleasant High School athletic director Jim Conway is in shock. He's still trying to figure out why a 21-year-old would lie his way back to high school and play football. That's exactly what happened to his Oiler team this season.
"Anytime you're duped or lied to, if you will, there's some frustration that comes with that. When it comes to something like this - an integrity issue - that becomes difficult to swallow," Conway said.
James Nash, 21, used false documents to attend the school under the alias Javier Jones. He played five games for the football team. After the school received a tip from a concerned parent, Nash's true identity was discovered. He was immediately removed from the district. Now two Oiler victories may be forfeited.
"He just fit in with all the other high school kids, with the 16-, 17-, and 18-year-old kids that belonged there. There were really no red flags," Conway said.
We took our tough questions to school superintendent Michael Pung wanting to know how this man slipped through the cracks and played for their football team.
"Well I think we're kind of the victim of the circumstances. We had all of the documentation on file that we would ask for if any student were to come to our district and enroll. We had a birth certificate, we had a transcript, and we had residency information all filed with us, and it was an excellent job of forging," Pung said
Meanwhile, Conway says his student-athletes are angry their hard work may be tarnished by one individual.
"They're as frustrated or if not more frustrated than the adults in this situation, which was good to see. I think that the kids have learned a valuable lesson. They're asking the questions 'why' and 'how' - just as we are as adults," Conway said.
The school is working with a liaison officer, who is turning over all information to the Isabella County prosecutor.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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