Washington basketball recruit Tony Wroten Jr. was enrolled in a fake Spanish class at Garfield High School in an effort to complete the two-year foreign language requirement to be granted entry into the University of Washington, according to a report in the Seattle Times on Thursday. After a district investigation, athletic director Jim Valiere, who taught the allegedly non-existent course, was fired for a variety of reasons including the Spanish class.
Mason Kelley, of the Seattle Times, put together an excellent piece of reporting in gathering facts and information leading to his story, posted on the Times' website on Wednesday night. Piecing together reports and interviews, Kelley was able to get to the bottom of the whole mess, which ended with Wroten allegedly taking a non-existent Spanish class and receiving grades for work that was never done. Once the jig was up, Garfield principal Ted Howard created a remedial Spanish class for Wroten and three others.
More than a month into the school year, he created a tiny, remedial second-year Spanish class designed to give students extra help. Wroten was enrolled in the class, despite his D grade in first-year Spanish. He passed the first semester, according to a source who has seen the grade but is not allowed to discuss it.
A tweet from Wroten -- he's very active on social media -- tipped-off Kelley and others to the Spanish class. In it, he mentioned sitting in a Spanish class with two of his friends, an odd statement considering the overcrowding and budget crunch at Garfield and Seattle-area high schools. The tweet can be found in a screencap below.
But the story went deeper, and began almost a year prior, when Wroten's basketball coach reportedly came to Valiere to ask him to teach a makeup Spanish class for Wroten.
Twice -- once in the spring, once in the summer -- Wroten was given a C grade for Spanish classes needed to enroll in the second-year of the foreign language curriculum at Garfield. Wroten is now enrolled in the final semester of his two-year requirement and will meet the University of Washington entrance requirements if he passes it.
Read the full story from Mason Kelley and, when you're done, read it again. It's that good and worth parsing through. We'll be back with more on this story later in this StorySteam.