After a track and field meet's validity came into question Monday night, schools that were listed in the results were quick to come forward and announce they had no part in or knowledge of the competition titled as the Brick City Invite.
The meet was listed as occurring on Sunday, May 20, and that it was hosted by Newark Flames. The original results posted have since been removed.
The whole situation was brought to light thanks to a parent of one of the athletes falsely listed in the results without their knowledge; with this and an initial report by Paul Schwartz of NorthJersey.com, the NJSIAA has also started their own investigation.
MileSplit reached out to Eddie Greene, the Head Coach of West Side HS, through his contact email address Tuesday morning to find out his side of the story. The inquiry was sent within the same email thread that the meet's result revisions were discussed days prior. Greene's MileSplit username is also credited to the uploaded results as well as to the meet page's creation.
Greene responded, denying any involvement, "I am aware of this as of today. My team did not run in that meet as well," Greene's email continued, "After speaking to the coach who now runs the Newark Flames TC, I was told that he (Coach Johnson) made this meet up to get some of the high schoolers on the team noticed." Greene also added, "this email is linked to our club and he has been having conversation with you and erasing them."
Later that same morning, MileSplit received an email from an individual who identified himself as Corey Johnson, the coach and CEO of Newark Flames Track Club. Johnson wrote, "I am writing to say I apologize for the incident of the falsified meet that was supposedly held on May 20, 2018 at Newark School Stadium."
Johnson went on to say his intent was to put his athletes out there to attract college recruitment. His email went on, "I really didn't know it would cause them problems as I never coached high school track and field. I only meant to help athletes in need and didn't mean to hurt athletes not involved at all."
After that, Johnson provided a phone number to reach him with, but the call forwards to a Planet Fitness customer service line.
The results, which have since been removed, weren't recorded correctly for a hand timed meet so the track times were not accepted but the field events initially were.
Both Greene and Johnson couldn't be reached by phone for a comment and did not return calls to MileSplit.
According to Paul Schwartz' follow up article, Greene states he wasn't even in the state the day of the faked meet, that he was in Atlanta for his son's graduation.
"I'm concerned that number one my team is put in this position," Greene told NorthJersey.com on Tuesday. "I spoke to the guy. He apologized to me. He said there was no ill will or to get me or any other team in trouble."
The moment the results came under question they were removed, MileSplit will be looking into any other meets that may have been linked to the Newark Flames to make sure there aren't any other falsified results.
The NJSIAA is still investigating the situation, reaching out to every team that was listed in the results, and will update when that has concluded.