EDIT: Ok, so now it is known that Kevin Hart was, in fact, lying. But I’m not one for revisionist history, so ill leave this up. At least, in my defense, the first two quotes that I took as facts were simply incorrect – this won’t be a police matter, and I find it false that the student, town, coach and team look equally “not pretty”. The coach looks bad, the town and team didn’t have anything to do with it, and the kid looks like a complete lunatic. You can read the final update here.
While it obviously doesn’t happen often, sometimes I read something and think to myself “I need to share this with the hundreds of people who find this blog each day while working from their living rooms googling things.” This is undoubtedly one of those cases. I read a simple news story on ESPN.com with wild ramifications, if simple logical thought is applied to the facts in the case. Here they are – a high school senior, Kevin Hart, declared today, on national signing day, that he had chosen to play football at Cal over Oregon. Hart told this to a gym full of reporters, fans, and TV people. National signing day is the much hyped end of the college football recruiting process, the first day a player can “sign” a letter of intent to play at the school that hooked him up the most on his visit. However, in the case of Kevin Hart, there was no offer to accept. Both Cal and Oregon say they never recruited Hart. Which sounds like a case of a kid being an idiot, until we get this quote: “They really sold me,” Hart said, according to USA Today. “Cal Coach [Jeff] Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience.” Based on this quote, we have 2 possibilities.
1. Kevin Hart made all of this up for attention.
2. People impersonating college coaches pretended to recruit Kevin to these schools, in one of the most ridiculous pranks of all time.
I think we would all assume that number one is very probable. But, shockingly, it doesn’t appear that way. Look at the rest of these quotes:
Now, it’s a “law enforcement investigation,” said Fernley football coach Mark Hodges, according to the newspaper.
“This is involving law enforcement and may involve other departments, other than the NCAA, that are bigger than local.”
–NOTE that he says “bigger than local”…which I will deduct to mean law enforcement at the State or Federal level. Would a kid making up that he got recruited be a state offense? I’m saying certainly not. People would say “you’re an asshole” and move on – its not a crime to make up shit about yourself. If it was, Rich would be doing consecutive life sentences right now.
In a blog for the Reno newspaper, reporter Chris Gabel wrote: “I am told the ending is not going to be pretty. Not for the kid, coach, school or town.”
Interesting. So, unless all those entities were involved in a hilarious joke on the local media-as they are the only ones who get embarrassed if hes making it up, thanks to stories like this one – its looking more and more like option number 2 (elaborate prank with Kevin Hart as the victim).
“Although only in a preliminary stage, the district’s investigation to date has been unable to verify that Kevin Hart was ever offered an athletic scholarship or letter of intent to play football by the University of California, University of Oregon, University of Nevada, Washington University or Oklahoma State University.”
Now, this is where things get ridiculous. Why would this district spokesperson mention three other specific universities unless Kevin Hart thought he got an offer from them? I’m not categorically ruling out that Hart fictionalized all this, simply because hes a random person, and I’ve learned that random people will always be doing ridiculous things, but the evidence simply doesn’t back it up. It really looks like someone or some people impersonated 5 different major college football coaches specifically to mess with this one high school kid. I will be like Geraldo out in those bomb fields with this story, reporting directly from the front lines if anything happens.