"It is an issue involving the University of Georgia and the NCAA," said GBI agent Ronnie Thompson, who confirmed the arrest Friday and said Shanks has been released on bond.
On Dec. 11, 2002, Shanks resigned from his job as guidance counselor
at Colquitt County High School after acknowledging he tried to have a
student take the SAT for basketball player Alexander Johnson, who was
being recruited by former Bulldog basketball coach Jim Harrick.
The student, the son of Colquitt County assistant superintendent of
schools Maureen Yearta, was paid $50 with the promise of more for
agreeing to take the test. Yearta's son initially agreed in early
December of 2002. He was provided with Johnson's social security card
and a fake Colquitt County identification card but then decided not to
take the test and told his mother of the plan.
A joint investigation by Georgia and the NCAA into Georgia's
basketball program looked into Johnson's recruitment but didn't find a
link between Harrick and Shanks. The incident was not mentioned in the
NCAA's recent letter of inquiry to Georgia.
Johnson, who is averaging 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game this
year at Florida State, claimed at the time to have no knowledge of the
fraud and not to know Shanks.
Shanks could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for his role in
the scam. The GBI will now have to convince a grand jury in Colquitt
County to indict Shanks before it can more forward with the case,
The GBI was contacted in July of last year by the regional district
attorney's office covering Colquitt County and asked to investigate
Shanks, Thompson said.
"Evidently, there was some correspondence between the D.A.'s office
and the University of Georgia," he said.
Former Educator Could See Hard Time
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