No criminal charges will be filed in the Timber Creek Football Program case.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office received a thirteen (13) page anonymous letter from a group called Stop Taking Our Players (S.T.O.P.). The letter was also sent to the Gloucester Township Chief of Police, the Mayor of Gloucester Township, several representatives of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (N.J.S.I.A.A.) and members of the Press.
S.T.O.P. describes itself as a group of anonymous parents, educators, coaches, game officials, administrators and attorneys with the main focus of monitoring the illegal recruitment and exploitation of high school student-athletes.
In the letter, S.T.O.P. alleged illegal recruitment of athletes by the Timber Creek High School Football coaches. They also alleged that local addresses for students were misrepresented during school registration so that the students could play football for the state championship team when in fact students resided outside of the Black Horse Pike School District.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office has conducted an extensive investigation into the allegations made by S.T.O.P. in their letter. After following multiple leads presented by S.T.O.P. and those developed independently by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, no evidence was produced to prove any allegation of criminal conduct against any member of the Timber Creek Football Program coaching staff. However, during the course of the investigation, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office uncovered residency discrepancies in transfer documents submitted to the school district.
Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo said “As a result of our findings we will close our criminal investigation. However, all evidence associated with the residency rule violations will be forwarded to the State’s governing body of high school athletics for review, the N.J.S.I.A.A.”
The N.J.S.I.A.A. (www.njsiaa.org) is a non-profit organization comprised of approximately four hundred and thirty-three (433) accredited public, private and non-public schools in the State of New Jersey. The N.J.S.I.A.A. is tasked with “setting forth the rules and regulations governing high school athletics in order to equalize competition for member schools.” Under the N.J.S.I.A.A. Bylaws they have the authority to sanction offending schools. The potential rule violations uncovered by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, if substantiated by the N.J.S.I.A.A. could result in the forfeiture of any games won.
Released September 9, 2016