It was a typical occurrence in today's recruiting world: A big lineman from a small high school holds a news conference to announce where he will play college football.
Two local TV stations showed up to film the event, and a majority of the students at the school turned out to watch.
But there was one problem when Kevin Hart, a 6-foot-4, 304-pounder from Fernley (Nev.) High, chose California on Friday: Cal never officially offered a scholarship. In fact, it appears no one from the school ever talked with Hart.
The situation now is such that Fernley High coach Mark Hodges told BearTerritory.net – a Web site that covers Cal sports – that the matter is "being investigated by law enforcement."
At Friday's announcement, Hart told those assembled that he and Cal coach Jeff Tedford had "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."
In a Jan. 23 story in the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, Hart – who while possessing good size, isn't considered a top prospect; he lacks quickness and upper-body strength – said he was considering Oregon, Washington and Illinois and had recently spoken by phone with new Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman.
But BearTerritory.net reported that the Cal staff has had no contact with Hart or Hodges and that Hart hasn't been on a recruiting trip to any school.
The Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association is looking into the matter as well, and executive director Eddie Bonine told the Gazette-Journal, "It could be that someone was impersonating those schools."
Hodges told bearterritory.net that he had been in discussions about the Hart matter with other school officials and with school-district representatives.