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Commitment ceremony, or needing to be committed?
February 6, 2008 12:26 PM   Subscribe

As national signing day approached, a small town in Nevada got excited that one of its football stars would go to a big time college program. Finally on the fated day town notables and media gathered for a ceremony where, Kevin Hart, made his choice known. Then it all unraveled, he was never recruited at all.
posted by humanfont (65 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 


Not remotely your fault humanfont - but I've read the links, and I'm confused about this.

Who has possibly done what?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:36 PM on February 6, 2008


Either the kid lied about being recruited by anyone, or someone fake "recruited" him.
posted by mrnutty at 12:38 PM on February 6, 2008


Possibility one: this kid bragged about being recruited when he hadn't been, and the story spiraled out of his control and he was never able to back down from it. Possibility two: he got scammed.

The first seems more likely, but I do hope it's the second.
posted by supercres at 12:39 PM on February 6, 2008


It seems that either a) kid lied, said he was recruited and wasn't and is now facing some trouble or b)kid was lied to by someone impersonating a recruiter and now someone is facing some trouble.

Either way, it demonstrates the utter wackiness that is college recruiting.
posted by teleri025 at 12:39 PM on February 6, 2008


(Oop, beat me to it mrnutty.)
posted by supercres at 12:40 PM on February 6, 2008


I will feel empathy for this town when someone shows me the link where they all gathered to celebrate someone's accepting an academic scholarship.




I'm waiting
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:44 PM on February 6, 2008 [27 favorites]


It seems highly unlikely that the kid was lied to by A BUNCH of faux recruiters claiming to be from various Div. 1 schools (read the last link). He lied. What must that feel like, putting that hat on your head and knowing it's all a sham, there is no scholarship, and soon everyone will know... you have to be pathological to subject yourself to that, no? A healthy person would have let the cat out of the bag long ago (or maybe never concocted the whole shameful story).

Any chance this is some dreadful YouTube attention-whore project? LonelyGuy16?
posted by Mister_A at 12:53 PM on February 6, 2008


That's a really weird photo of him picking the hat. It's hard to tell without seeing other pictures of him but it looks like there is an expression of fear on his face.
posted by 517 at 12:55 PM on February 6, 2008


I suspect deception as well, still it seems odd to me that a 6-4, 280+ lb All-State offensive guard wouldn't have been recruited by someone.
posted by psmealey at 12:57 PM on February 6, 2008


Yes, he does seem a little panic-stricken. Like, "Last chance to come clean! Must deliver stirring Jimmy Stewart-type speech... ungh... FAIL!!"

Seriously, talk about your anguish. I hope this kid doesn't kill himself over this.
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on February 6, 2008


I think I'm getting it - except for a huge problem (I'm fascinated by public fibs - but I don't know this "tradition" at all).

Is there a suggestion that pretending you've been recruited attracts real recruitment?

(Like a bogus bid at an auction will start a bidding frenzy? And the bogus bid gets hidden by the subsequent genuine offers).

So the kid, maybe, was banking on the rumor pulling in real offers?

Or is it just a stupid boast, that - as people say - spiraled horribly into a public announcement before it could be stopped?

(Because recruiters never fall for mere rumors of other teams' interests?)

Sorry about this...
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:59 PM on February 6, 2008


Wow. That's a really strange an interesting story. I find myself hoping that he got scammed, which is an odd moral position in which to find myself, if you know what I mean.
posted by dersins at 12:59 PM on February 6, 2008


It appears the kid and his family were duped.
posted by Bitstop at 1:06 PM on February 6, 2008


Good point, Mister_A, but you make me think it might actually be a pretty good strategy to let it be known that you were being recruited even if you weren't, because there's always the chance a real recruiter would hear about that and think 'did I miss that kid?' and you might get recruited as a result.

If it were purely a rational strategy though, when he didn't get any offers he should have faked a serious injury and stumped around town in a cast for a week or two explaining how they'd all lost interest in him when he hurt his Achilles, or something.
posted by jamjam at 1:10 PM on February 6, 2008


These are really interesting links (I would say more, but it's hard to know yet whether the kid lied or something else was up).
posted by drezdn at 1:10 PM on February 6, 2008


Jesus, if only I'd thought of this prank when I was 16, I would have had my sweet revenge on the big dumb football assholes.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 1:13 PM on February 6, 2008


Somehow I find myself hoping he was the one running the prank. Sure today he is now crawling into his parents basement; but who hasn't been in the position of the prank that went too far. He'll be able to laugh about that time he pranked the whole town in about 20 years. It's tragic but at least he's the victum of a fault in himself. On the other hand if someone just pranked him; and cheated him out of a few hundred bucks then it is just sad.
posted by humanfont at 1:13 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I find odd is that anyone other than the kid's family gives a crap where he goes to college, real or imagined. I mean, who cares? They have a division I college athlete? WTF? This matters?
posted by GuyZero at 1:18 PM on February 6, 2008


Well it's a nowhere town, somethign for people to get excited about.
posted by Mister_A at 1:21 PM on February 6, 2008


From Bitstop's link:

Hart said at the announcement ceremony Friday that he talked many times with Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and that "personal experience" led to his decision to choose the Golden Bears over Oregon.

And from the WaPo story:

"Coach Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me that real personal experience," Hart was quoted in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

That seems like pretty much straight-up crux material right there. One of these has to hold:

- Tedford talked to the kid (and where's the confirm/deny on this, anyway?);
- Faux recruiter Riley pretended to be Tedford across multiple conversations;
- Faux recruiter Riley had an accomplice pretend to be Tedford as above; or
- the kid is lying his ass off.
posted by cortex at 1:22 PM on February 6, 2008


Is like when George Bush was in the Air National Guard?
posted by OmieWise at 1:25 PM on February 6, 2008


Did the kid not visit any school that he thought was recruiting him? Did no coaches visit him, his school, or his family? It appears he may have been duped and that he was an easy mark.

What about the con artist? What is his motivation? Sure he gets a few hundred bucks, but it would seem like he would be easy to catch.
posted by plastic_animals at 1:33 PM on February 6, 2008


I suspect deception as well, still it seems odd to me that a 6-4, 280+ lb All-State offensive guard wouldn't have been recruited by someone.

http://cal.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=769462
"The scouting report we heard from those in the know said that Hart could always try to walk-on somewhere, but he'd have a long way to go despite his size because he lacks upper body strength and footwork."
posted by gyc at 1:33 PM on February 6, 2008


It was like this in my state town neighborhood subdivision cul de sac household room when I was accepted by MIT Yale Stanford the University of Washington, where I went on to doctorate masters undergraduate degree dropping out.

So I can relate.
posted by maxwelton at 1:41 PM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is just bizarre. These days, *all* top-flight D1 recruits show up on independent scouting reports. You'd have difficulty escaping them if you tried. The fact that nobody seemed to notice his lack of recruiting visibility is strange.

My read: He was duped, and then went ahead and duped himself ("Why, yes, I am a top-notch recruit, as a matter of fact, thank you for asking...").
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:52 PM on February 6, 2008


I suspect deception as well, still it seems odd to me that a 6-4, 280+ lb All-State offensive guard wouldn't have been recruited by someone.

Coming out of high school, those stats might also indicate someone that is fat and slow and able to simply push smaller kids around, but will fold like a taco against real competition.

Better to take the 6-4, 220-pound kid and start feeding him peanut-butter milkshakes and lifting weights.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:54 PM on February 6, 2008


Whatever happened I feel extremely sorry for this poor kid. How does he show his face in school after this?
posted by caddis at 2:04 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will feel empathy for this town when someone shows me the link where they all gathered to celebrate someone's accepting an academic scholarship.

I'm waiting


Scene: crowded high school gymnasium, Small Town, USA.

"And now, as both mayor of Small Town and principal of our only High School, it is my great honor to announce that young Mr. Bill Smith has been accepted to Harvard on a poetry scholarship! Let's hear it for Bill!!!!"

*crickets*

*Bill Smith nervously takes the podium*

"Well hello everyone, I'm Bill Smith, and I'd like to read a portion of the poem that impressed the profess-"

Suddenly, from the back of the gym: "FAGGOT!"

"Uh, I'd like to read a por-" Bill stutters, turning bright red

"FAG-OT, FAG-OT, FAG-OT" the crowd begins to chant. The Mayor/Principal just stares at his shoes. Powerless.

Bill runs out of the gym, crying. The crowd laughs, and quickly dissolves. They go back to their homes, their fundamentalist churches, their minimum-wage service jobs, their meth kitchens. They pat themselves on the back, because they'll never be a faggot like Bill Smith who went to Harvard.
posted by Avenger at 2:06 PM on February 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Bill runs out of the gym, crying. The crowd laughs, and quickly dissolves. They go back to their homes, their fundamentalist churches, their minimum-wage service jobs, their meth kitchens. They pat themselves on the back, because they'll never be a faggot like Bill Smith who went to Harvard.

My wife was valedictorian of her small-town high school. She was the only one of her graduating class to leave the state for college -- and she went to an Ivy League school.

They STILL talk about her down there, nearly two decades later. I was surprised by that. "You're Susan's husband? Why, I bet your little girl might be one of them rocket scientists right now!"

Of course, their football team has historically been very crappy, so that might play into it. Still, don't run around suggesting that Anytown USA is Exactly Like You Imagine It In Your Small-Minded Stereotypes (TM).
posted by dw at 2:19 PM on February 6, 2008 [14 favorites]


Why, I bet your little girl might COULD be one of them rocket scientists right now!

I do like that Southern turn of phrase "might could." It's so twee.
posted by dw at 2:21 PM on February 6, 2008


I'm trying to find the thread from early fall about the girl fresh out of law school who got the research job that turned out to be a massive hoax built around establishing a fake business in order to woo some woman the "proprietor" had been internet stalking. No luck, but if I find it, I'll link.

Something about that seems similar to me. If someone's circumstances seem pretty hopeless, but they're offered a (too-good-to-be-true) opportunity based on the one skill they know they hace, they'll bite on it, without the necessary research to check into. After all, the person making the offer is the expert, right? This is close to the center of all confidence schemes.

I feel awful for the kid, and maybe even a little bit sorry for Kevin Riley, depending on what his circumstances were. It seems entirely plausible that he duped himself into believing Jody's above theory as well. Thinking, "Here's an all-state athlete, good size, comes from a school that's never had a D1 football player before. If I can get him signed to a big school, it'll be a real feather in my cap, just the sort of thing to get me in with the NCAA recruiters. And if I can build up enough publicity around his offers, then some of the big schools are bound to start sniffing around, right?"

Working in entertainment in NY I ran up against uncountable people with the same mindset, that of faking success until success presents itself. Maybe I've just seen Shattered Glass too many times.

In any case, this is awful for the kid, and I hope at least the publicity gets him an offer from some school, and that whoever gets him to sign will advise that he pick his major wisely, and study his ass off, because it doesn't look like the pro's are in his future.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:37 PM on February 6, 2008


obligatory crappy photoshop
posted by eddydamascene at 2:38 PM on February 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


God I feel so sorry for this kid. So many of us know what it's like to be weighed down by other people's expectations. Any overachievers in the crowd? I know my parents bragged when I was accepted to a respected engineering program. Every family gathering, you have to endure that beaming smile of an aunt or uncle who just knows you'll amount to great things, and while the vote of confidence is nice, when times get tough and you start to imagine letting everybody down, well, that's stressful.

Now imagine instead of a couple of aunts and uncles, your parents bragged to the entire TOWN - all your relatives, all your relatives' relatives, all your friends, their parents, and their grandparents, your teachers, every single kid at your school including every girl you've ever had a crush on, your doctor, your dentist, the mayor, the local news media, and even just ordinary people you've never met and never will meet - you're a hero to each and every one of them, they all believe in you -- and you're a fraud. This is a lot for a high schooler to deal with, even if it isn't his fault.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:38 PM on February 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Coach Taylor never would have let this happen to one of his Panthers.
posted by william_boot at 2:41 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


In any case, this is awful for the kid, and I hope at least the publicity gets him an offer from some school...

It's too late for that. The deadline is today.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:47 PM on February 6, 2008


GuyZero...You've never lived in a tiny town, have you? One where the local high school teams are the main (only?) source of civic pride? In places like those...to be the first D1-recruited athlete? OMG, does it ever matter.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:53 PM on February 6, 2008


The deadline is today.

I think national signing day is the first day you can commit to a school's offer, not a deadline.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:59 PM on February 6, 2008


Whoops!
posted by mr_roboto at 3:08 PM on February 6, 2008


My money is on the kid making this all up, and not being able to cover his tracks. He went to the cops, I think, only after he'd figured out this ingenious plan to get out of it and seem innocent.

The reason I think this: well, in that second article linked ("excited") it says:

At the top of his list include Oregon, which he planned to visit last weekend, and Washington of the Pac-10 and Illinois, which played in the Rose Bowl this year, of the Big 10... "I feel like I'll take full advantage of my visits (to colleges)," going to as many schools as he can, Hart said after cheering for the FHS basketball teams last Thursday night. "I want to get a good look at all the schools and make a good decision."

So it seems pretty academic. Did he visit all those schools he said he would? If he did, it seems extremely odd that he didn't realize that this increasingly elaborate hoaxer he describes was dragging him around campus and introducing him to "coaches" in coffee-shops and common areas rather than offices and stadia. If he didn't visit those schools... why? He'll probably say that the hoaxer told him he shouldn't... but wouldn't that make him the slightest bit suspicious?

I don't know. But I don't see how he could conceivably have visited schools, even one school, without realizing that he wasn't being recruited by real officials.
posted by koeselitz at 3:32 PM on February 6, 2008


Other cases of imagined/bluffed fortunate turns of circumstance have ended up in entire families dying in murder-suicides once it's no longer possible to hide the fact that, no, I truth did not get into that prestigious east coast med school as I've been telling you for months so you wouldn't take the kids and leave me, and we're not actually moving there tomorrow to start a whole new life that's so much better than this one.

So in retrospect, it could have been a whole lot worse.
posted by Naberius at 3:58 PM on February 6, 2008


Kid sounds like he's a liar.

this though, from the WaPo

Today, several universities will charge admission to events during which their coaches will talk about their latest haul of players.

highlights the complete and other farce that is "amateur" college athletics. it's professional athletics where the players are paid a salary of $0 plus room and board.

And yet it is amateur, in the sense that so many restrictions are placed on how long the "kids"* can practice. All that stuff about basketball players learning "fundamentals" in college is pure crap. (and a bit racist too, since it's almost always the heroic white coach teaching black men who, we're told, couldn't possibly learn any other way). The reason so many Europeans are doing so well in the NBA is simpley because they treat their prospects as professionals from a young age. Tony Parker was playing semi-professionally at 14, I think.

And this is why i don't watch much college sports anymore.


*interesting how almost all broadcasters insist on belittling the athletes as "kids," when 99%+ are over 18.

posted by drjimmy11 at 4:03 PM on February 6, 2008


Possibility one: this kid bragged about being recruited when he hadn't been, and the story spiraled out of his control and he was never able to back down from it.

I'm leaning to this possibility. In addition to his claims to having been personally recruited by and having talked to California Golden Bears Coach Jeff Tedford, Hart makes reference to visits to various colleges/universities ("At the top of his list include Oregon, which he planned to visit last weekend...*. If you are onsite and a valued recruit you're going to meet players, coaches and get star treatment.
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on February 6, 2008


Or, what koeselitz just said!
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on February 6, 2008


Update:
The Kevin Hart recruiting saga came to an abrupt end this afternoon when the Fernley High School offensive lineman from Reno, admitted the entire process was a fraud.
"I wanted to play D-I ball more than anything. When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I made up what I wanted to be reality," read a statement sent out by Teri White, assistant superintendent of the Lyon County School District, on behalf of Hart. "I am sorry for disappointing and embarrassing my family, coaches, Fernley High School, the involved universities and reporters covering the story."

posted by iviken at 4:28 PM on February 6, 2008


"[Lyon County sheriff's Lt. Rob] Hall said Hart had claimed the alleged recruiter was named Kevin Riley, and that he believed he was from Las Vegas.

Hart, however, was 'unable to provide any phone numbers, addresses,' or other contact information for the purported recruiter, Hall said." *
posted by ericb at 4:39 PM on February 6, 2008


It appears Kevin Hart had told his untrue story for quite some time: here's the link to the high school paper, "The Vaquero Voice" from September 2007: Interview with Kevin Hart at page 7:

KEVIN HART, Player of the month
Lori Wilmot, Asst. Editor

12th Grade Years: 5
Position: Guard

Question: How many schools have recruited you? Names and details.
KEVIN HART: Well right now there are a number of colleges recruiting me to play football; Nevada, Boise State, Washington, Oregon, California, and Oregon State. But, the schools that I am in contact with are Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
(...)
Q: Do you plan on going to college? If so, where, and for what?
KH: I do plan on playing college football, but I’m not sure where at. It will either be at Oregon, Nevada, or Washington.
Q: Why do you like football? Details!
KH: I like a lot of things about football, but there’s a few that stick out. Walking onto the field, I get chills. It’s a special thing. You know that you and your teammates are about to do something special.
Q: What is the most exciting moment in your football career?
KH: The most exciting moment of my football career is being able to play with the great group of guys that I play with. I wouldn’t trade them for anyone.

posted by iviken at 5:03 PM on February 6, 2008


Oh God. The poor, poor kid. It takes a huge amount of maturity, perspective and will-power to bring your life back from something like this. Not too many teens have that. I wish him the best.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:27 PM on February 6, 2008


I feel bad for the kid. Teenagers are under huge pressure to win scholarships, to become stars. It really sounds to me as if a little fib just kept growing and he couldn't back out. And having the whole town invested in your success probably made it worse. But parents? Where were the parents wondering why they hadn't met the recruiters? In my high school in Ohio, many years ago, we had a number of football players recruited to big schools but there was one kid everyone knew would go pro. And he did. But he was the talk of the town for years. And the pressure must have been intense.

I hope this kid comes out of this okay and that some of these idiot schools stop making spectacles out of college signings. What a lot of crap. Few of them will actually go pro and meantime, kids doing other meaningful things coming out of high school are sadly overlooked.
posted by etaoin at 7:31 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer: I'm trying to find the thread from early fall about the girl fresh out of law school who got the research job that turned out to be a massive hoax built around establishing a fake business in order to woo some woman the "proprietor" had been internet stalking. No luck, but if I find it, I'll link.

Wanted: Gulllible Lawyers
posted by jewishbuddha at 9:03 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's understandable that Kevin would want to live the life of Riley for a while.
posted by telstar at 9:46 PM on February 6, 2008


And somebody shop that photo of Kevin reaching for the Cal cap with Bush's head instead and the cap reading Iraq, STAT!
posted by telstar at 10:49 PM on February 6, 2008


Update: It was all a hoax. Poor kid.
posted by parmanparman at 6:08 AM on February 7, 2008


Kevin Hart needs an agent - for the movie rights to this story.

"No end game? Ray, you missed the obvious. This is a movie that could become a classic. This is Ferris Beuhler. This is American Pie. This is Risky Business. Leave the fictional end game to the script writers - I'd bet it would be pretty funny. Maybe Senator Specter gets into the act and forces Cal to take the kid. Who knows? But the real life end game hasn't been written yet. They say that you just can't make this stuff up, but this kid actually did. Have to applaud the creativity and the ingenuity, even though the logic is completely missing."


Hollywood could sell this story as "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" meets "Friday Night Lights" meets "The Waterboy" (for the fictional happy ending). Maybe Adam Sandler could play the coach and Hayden Panettiere could play Kevin's girlfriend?
posted by iviken at 6:29 AM on February 7, 2008


Wowzers.

I have to admit that I'm fascinated by this kind of story. There was a similar story a few years ago of a small town guy who pretended to get into medical school (I can't find the link). He actually packed up his car and drove out of town. Also, the woman last year who claimed to be a 9/11 widow and was giving tours of the site. There's something so touching, so human, about being caught up and imprisoned in your own lie. How far is it from this to Enron? I guess it's just a matter of how you react when it all falls apart - contrite or entitled.

No secret life here, but, as an ex-grad student, I brushed up against plenty of academics who have built themselves a self-supporting houses of cards. The crashes there have the same kind of resonance.

As Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember everything."
posted by JoshBerman at 7:15 AM on February 7, 2008


I feel for this kid.

I had a friend who told some good stories, all in good fun, when we were sitting around shooting the shit. (There was usually some kind of social lubricant involved.)

A couple of years after I moved out of the area I got a call from his gf saying that he had just killed himself. They were getting serious, and he was going nowhere (I'm not sure he was employed at alll), so he invented a mythical job offer in a nearby big city. On the day he was to accept he left for the meeting, but instead checked himself in to the motel down the street, took a bunch of pills, drank some vodka, and put a bag over his head. It was devastating to all involved, including me. As things shook out, it turned out that much of what he'd told us about himself was not true, he'd never even graduated from college, for instance, which was the basis for more than a few of his stories. My feelings of disappointment (in myself and him) and betrayal were so layered that it was hard to tease them out.

I knew another guy during roughly the same period of my life (who worked at the same place) who told everyone that he had stomach cancer and was going to die. Folks banded together and got him a slot on a Grand Canyon trip, paid his way (we were all raft/kayak guides) and generally feted the guy. It turned out that there was no cancer, no threat of death. He kind of slunk off into the weeds after it all came out. He left he company, although he continued to work for a competitor in the area. That one was much less tragic.
posted by OmieWise at 7:40 AM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I once got into some random pissing match with my sister—we were both pre-teens, this was—and claimed that I hadn't eaten lunch that day at school. And to back that up, concocted the story that the person in the cafeteria had told me I couldn't have lunch. It was a weird off-hours lunch period (I was going to an off-site activity, it was a monthly thing), so it's plausible that the whole interaction would have involved me and cafeteria person and no one else. A weird, random lie, but one my sister couldn't really call bullshit on.

But it got passed on to my aunt, and I didn't fess up; and she passed it on to my parents, and I didn't fess up; and about the time that Mom was getting livid and insisting that Dad drive me to the school to find out just how the hell this could happen, I was realizing just how goddam stupid it was that my random oneupmanship crack at my sister that afternoon was building up steam. And I didn't fess up; and my Dad drove me to the school; and we marched to the cafeteria kitchen. Dad summarized, I mumbled that the person we were talking to wasn't the person I saw, and pretty soon we left and I can't remember if anybody spoke about it again after that.

It was absolutely fucking mortifying. I was ten or eleven years old, I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground, I was a lousy liar and didn't enjoy lying regardless. And yet there I was. And that was between me and my parents and one bewildered cafeteria person.

So I both can and can't imagine what the sense of visibility and escalation that Hart has been dealing with is like. And I look back on that miserable, stupid cafeteria saga when I was a no-account little kid and I wonder if the people who get caught up in these big lies would have been saved the agony and embarassment if they'd just managed to be mortified as a ten-year-old instead, and learned the lesson with smaller stakes.
posted by cortex at 9:09 AM on February 7, 2008 [4 favorites]


On one hand, as someone who made his share of bone-headed life-altering mistakes in his high school years, I feel sorry for the kid.

On the other hand, it's only a great sense of entitlement that allows the lie to go so far that it damages your family, your school, and any chance of playing football ever again. There's a certain point when it's time to give up the lie.

But on a less serious note:

He told them that he'd destroyed all his contact information and only had a name to give them -- Kevin Riley -- which just so happens to be the same name as the quarterback at the University of California -- the school he had chosen.

What a strange coincidence! Or an incredible lack of creativity in the "making up a name under pressure" department!

Give a message to your sister Jan -- her boyfriend George Glass just called.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:21 AM on February 7, 2008


And this is all reminding me of another big unstoppable lie story, and a worse one at that; a woman from across the river in Vancouver, WA named Laurie Recht who killed herself and her daughter Rebecca suddenly in October of last year while the cardhouse of a years-long string of lies (and some hardcore Munchausen-by-proxy) was starting to unravel.

The article makes a fascinating (if dreary) read; Recht had a long history of dramatic snowjobbery, starting (at least as far as the story documents) with a string of invented hatecrimes she claimed to have endured—until investigations showed that she'd never received the threatening calls she complained about, and a hidden camera caught her doing her own defacing.

Recht's story makes for a functional distinction between Lie and Liar—she seemed to make a lifestyle out of these half-convinced lies about herself and later her daughter, enjoying the attention she got from her stories. That line between getting caught lying and staying clean and getting caught lying and lying again and again might just be the line that defines a border of mental illness, but I don't know.
posted by cortex at 9:23 AM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


"On the other hand, it's only a great sense of entitlement that allows the lie to go so far that it damages your family, your school, and any chance of playing football ever again. There's a certain point when it's time to give up the lie."

True, MCMikeNamara

I just wander what he's got left to fall back on now.

He sounds like a lad immersed in jock culture, who probably doesn't have geek or weird friends as a buffer. His grades may not have been so good (being a jock).

I suspect it'll be a long time before he can look back with any sort of amusement. (If indeed, they ever let these things drop at all in a very small town).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2008


Fuuuck, football jocks in these rural towns are treated like gods. This kid wanted more. I hope he never lives this down.
posted by telstar at 9:22 PM on February 7, 2008


"Here’s perhaps the saddest part. Rivals.com rates Hart as a two-star recruit. He probably could have had his news conference, and put on a cap, and signed a letter of intent. Not with Cal or Oregon, but with a smaller school.

Except, he apparently told a few of them he wasn’t interested because the big boys were recruiting him."

"Fallon football coach Ray Holladay saw Hart at several combines and knew he attended a football camp in Oregon.

"I feel sorry for Kevin," Holladay said from his office Thursday morning. "When schools contact me I would recommend him to other coaches. I felt he could play at the next level. (...)

According to Rivals.com, Hart's ranking was 5.2, which means he is a D-1 prospect who could prosper at a mid-major university."

"Many of Hart's friends and teammates also confirmed Hart had been sending them text messages about his recruitment to Cal and later how he was scammed by a recruiter.

One friend told the LVN that Hart had called him earlier in the week apologizing for lying about college recruiting and the middle man.

"He lied about everything dealing with recruiting," said the teammate, who wished to remain anonymous.

Hart also contacted many friends on Jan. 1 telling them he was at a bowl game.

"Kevin told some of his friends he went to the Rose Bowl," said another former teammate, adding that Hart said he was the guest of the University of Illinois.

Illinois officials denied Hart was ever their guest at the Rose Bowl or was even considered for a letter of intent."

"In related news, Barton (Kan.) County Community College is said to be offering Hart a full ride because "he'd fit right in here."
posted by iviken at 1:07 AM on February 8, 2008


Kevin Hart needs an agent - for the movie rights to this story.

Not a very original story, I don't think. The last rehashing of it was Accepted starring that guy who does the Mac commercials.
posted by psmealey at 7:29 AM on February 8, 2008


Wow Cortex, I just read that story and it is a fascinating insight into what must have been a mental illness. It's also hard not to feel sad about the whole thing.
posted by ob at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2008


"In related news, Barton (Kan.) County Community College is said to be offering Hart a full ride because "he'd fit right in here."

In the past they have also offered full rides to George Bush, Karl Rove, Ken Lay and Kaycee Nicole Swenson.
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on February 8, 2008


Awwww, the poor kid. Maybe all he needs is a root in the stones.
posted by telstar at 2:53 AM on February 9, 2008


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