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Ron Weaver was a college football player for the University of Texas. Weaver, who played under the alias Joel Ron McKelvey, played under his own name when he enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College in the fall of 1984, then at Sacramento State, which was a Division II program, in 1988.[1] Hence, Weaver had already used up his NCAA eligibility by 1989. After graduation, Weaver failed tryouts with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League and with the Houston Oilers.[1]

Weaver was able to pull off his scam by enrolling at Los Angeles Pierce College under an assumed name and a different date of birth, using the name and Social Security number of a friend, who had never played sports. He played two seasons at Los Angeles Pierce College before transfering to Texas, where he was recruited by the defensive backs coach[1] and claimed his age was 23 instead of 30. Weaver also joined the team after photos had already been taken for the team media guide. [2] He played cornerback for Texas and received a full scholarship.[1] He reportedly was not caught until he told a reporter that he planned to write a book about his scheme. He was not exposed until shortly before the 1996 Sugar Bowl and then disappeared. Coach John Mackovic and other officials claimed to know nothing of Weaver's fraud until he was caught. Despite some initial concern, the Longhorns were not forced to forfeit any of the games in which Weaver had played, as there was no evidence that any team officials knew or could have known about his fraud. As of 2009, this is the last known case of someone fraudulently playing NCAA Division I football. [3]

After the story broke, Weaver's mother said she was flooded with offers for her son to sell the rights to his story.[4]

Weaver ultimately pleaded guilty in a California federal court to misusing a Social Security number; he didn't serve any jail time.

Weaver's sister, Bonita Money, later became known as a minor actor who got into a 1992 fight with Shannen Doherty and was involved in a 2005 alleged kidnapping.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "The Great Impostor". Sports Illustrated. Jan. 15, 1996. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1007649/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  
  2. ^ "Texas Roster Scam Is Alleged". December 31, 1995. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B00E2D61239F932A05751C1A963958260. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  
  3. ^ "link only works for Virginia Tech students". Virginia Pilot. December 31, 1995. http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1995/vp951231/12310197.htm.  
  4. ^ Brown, Chip. "A year later UT can laugh about "old" player". Abilene Reporter-News. http://www.texnews.com/sports/fiesta122796.html. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  
  5. ^ O'Hagan, Maureen (October 14, 2005). "Bizarre "kidnapping": Was it or wasn't it?". Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002559939_money14m.html. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  
  • Virginian-Pilot, January 1, 1996 [1]
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