Bizarre Recruiting Hoax Fools None, Confuses All

A sad young man is accused of recruiting high school football players for East Carolina—a school he has no affiliation with and that has never heard of him. What could have been the point of this not-so-master plan?

Officials at Croatan High School say an 18-year-old named Kodey Kroger showed up at their school one day claiming to be a "student-recruiter" for ECU. He said he was a current football player for the Pirates, offered a credentials letter signed by head coach Skip Holtz, and told the football team he was there to offer some preferred walk-on spots to a couple of Croatan players. He spent a couple of days hanging around the school, met with coaches, players and even some parents.

There were only a couple of issues. For one, "student-recruiter" is not a thing. Schools, even crappy ones, don't send college freshmen out to round up players for the football team. Second, Kroger doesn't even go to ECU. He was apparently recruited to play for Campbell University (home of the Fighting Camels!), but according to an assistant coach there "it didn't work out." The letters were fakes (obviously) and Croatan doesn't have anyone good enough to play D-I football, even as walk-ons.

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To be fair to Croatan, it only took them three days to figure out that Kroger was fishy. Calls to other local high schools revealed that he attempted a similar ruse at two other places at East Carolina had never heard of him. But what the hell was he trying to accomplish?

Police aren't pressing charges because no crime had been committed. He didn't steal anything, didn't ask for money, didn't try anything inappropriate with any of the students. It doesn't even qualify as an NCAA violation, because he's not actually associated with any college. He's just a sad, sad liar. (Sound familiar?) Police spoke to Kroger's mother who was "devastated" and said that her son needs professional help. The only victims appear to be two high school kids who, for one glorious week, thought they were headed to the big time.

There was no malice and nothing was gained on his part," said [the school principal]. "He didn't seem to be out to scam or con anyone, at least as far as taking advantage of the situation. So in that sense, he didn't hurt anyone. But he did take advantage of the kids' emotions. They are devastated."

Well ... it was only East Carolina. How excited could anyone get about that?

Bizarre recruiting hoax surfaces [Carolina Coast Online]