District: Former Garfield A.D. fixed grades, faked classes

District: Former Garfield A.D. fixed grades, faked classes »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Serious allegations are surfacing against Seattle's Garfield High School and its athletic program. The Seattle School District now claims Garfield's former athletic director fixed grades and faked classes to keep a prominent student-athlete eligible for college ball.

The controversy all centers around basketball superstar Tony Wroten, one of the top recruits in the country and a kid many say is destined for the NBA. There's only one problem: his grades.

The trouble began last spring during Wroten's junior year at Garfield. A Seattle schools investigation revealed he got a "D" in his first year Spanish class, but he needed a "C" or higher in order meet eligibility requirements for the University of Washington, where he's committed to play next fall.

District investigators say that's when Garfield athletic director Jim Valiere stepped-in and offered to teach Wroten Spanish and help him get a passing grade. But, the Seattle School District claims Valiere never did.

Documents obtained by KOMO News show Valiere told investigators Wroten and another student were in his class during seventh period for the entire spring of 2010. But investigators say Wroten never attended, leaving school every day after 6th period to attend physical therapy. Wroten's parents provided doctor's notes as proof.

Investigators say Valiere also claimed he taught Wroten during the summer of 2010 -- the same time Wroten was playing basketball thousands of miles away in Germany.

Wroten told investigators Valiere met with him a few times and used flash cards, looked at stuff on the internet but, he says, they never opened a textbook.

Seattle schools fired Valiere last month, accusing him of violating the district's policies. Valieri's attorney says they are appealing his termination.

This isn't the first time Valieri has been in trouble. Last year, the district says Valieri schemed with football coaches to allow several ineligible players to play in games. They also claim Valieri handed out secret waivers so certain families wouldn't have to pay to play sports.

Athletic officials at UW say they won't comment on the investigation, but they add as far as they're concerned, Wroten is right on track start basketball there next season.