An independent investigation into the Bellevue High School football found facts that support allegations of wrongdoing in the program — including false addresses for players and boosters paying for athletes’ tuition at a nearby private institute.
Bellevue has won 11 state titles in 16 years and reached the state championship game at the Tacoma Dome 13 times, losing each of the past two years after a record run of six consecutive 3A titles.
This week, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released the results of the investigation, requested by the Bellevue School District. The inquiry found facts, with possible title-stripping implications, to support allegations that Bellevue High athletes used false addresses to gain eligibility and that coaches directed players to attend the private Academic Institute, which two teachers told The Seattle Times was a “diploma mill.”
The investigation found that boosters paid for the tuition of athletes at the Academic Institute and coaches coordinated tuition payments.
The Times reported that potential NFL draft pick Myles Jack was among 17 athletes who have attended Academic Institute.
The full findings will be reported to the KingCo League.
“Our mission is to ensure that all students in the state are competing on a fair and level playing field,” said WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese in the news release. “The association provides structure and process for schools and districts to ensure there is accountability.”
South Sound teams have collided with Bellevue High’s powerful football program for more than a decade.
In 2014, Bellevue knocked out Sumner in the first round of state and — for the third consecutive year — ended Peninsula’s season in the state quarterfinals.
Bellevue beat Lakes in the state quarterfinals in 2011 after ending the Lancers’ season in the state semifinals the previous season. Bellevue ousted Lakes in the first round in 2003.
In 2008, Bellevue defeated Capital in the semifinals. And Bellevue beat Auburn in the 2006 semifinals.
Bellevue ran past Franklin Pierce in the first round in 2004 and followed with a win over Timberline in the quarterfinals. Bellevue ended Jonathan Stewart’s Timberline career in the 2003 quarterfinals.
Bellevue won the 11 state titles from 2001 to 2013 under coach Butch Goncharoff. After losing to Eastside Catholic in last year’s title game, Goncharoff said his program had done nothing wrong.
“Nobody should go through what these kids and what I’ve had to go through in a year for not doing anything,” Goncharoff said then.
Running into Bellevue
Bellevue has reached 13 state championship games from 2001-15 and knocked off plenty of teams from the South Sound on its way to the Tacoma Dome in the process.
Bellevue: Won state titles in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001*
*Has reached state playoffs every year since 2001.
First round: Beat Kennedy Catholic, 49-15
Quarterfinals: Beat Glacier Peak, 35-14
Semifinals: Beat Bishop Blanchet, 56-28
Championship: Lost to Eastside Catholic, 48-42
First round: Beat Sumner, 38-0
Quarterfinals: Beat Peninsula, 31-7
Semifinals: Beat Marysville-Pilchuck, 20-10
Championship: Lost to Eastside Catholic, 35-13
First round: Beat Glacier Peak, 48-6
Quarterfinals: Beat Peninsula, 48-27
Semifinals: Beat Shadle Park, 66-0
Championship: Beat Eastside Catholic, 52-20
First round: Beat Ferndale, 28-0
Quarterfinals: Beat Peninsula, 40-3
Semifinals: Beat Mount Si, 37-7
Championship: Beat Eastside Catholic, 35-3
First round: Beat Eastside Catholic, 42-0
Quarterfinals: Beat Lakes, 35-14
Semifinals: Beat Kamiakin, 21-10
Championship: Beat O’Dea, 35-16
First round: Beat Timberline, 59-14
Quarterfinals: Beat Liberty of Issaquah, 35-0
Semifinals: Beat Lakes, 35-7
Championship: Beat Kamiakin, 38-0
First round: Beat Mount Si, 49-17
Quarterfinals: Beat Glacier Peak, 34-7
Semifinals: Beat Union, 19-13
Championship: Beat Liberty of Issaquah, 23-17
First round: Beat Lindbergh, 35-6
Quarterfinals: Beat Liberty of Issaquah, 35-7
Semifinals: Beat Capital, 28-6
Championship: Beat Union, 35-6
First round: Beat Newport of Bellevue, 21-10
Quarterfinals: Beat Southridge, 37-10
Semifinals: Lost to O’Dea, 27-17
First round: Beat Issaquah, 21-0
Quarterfinals: Beat Eastside Catholic, 35-13
Semifinals: Beat Auburn, 47-0
Championship: Beat Kennedy Catholic, 21-14
First round: Beat Lindbergh, 63-7
Quarterfinals: Lost to Prosser, 38-35
First round: Beat Franklin Pierce, 38-7
Quarterfinals: Beat Timberline, 49-9
Semifinals: Beat Lynden, 41-21
Championship: Beat Ferndale, 31-28
First round: Beat Lakes, 49-7
Quarterfinals: Beat Timberline, 21-14
Semifinals: Beat Issaquah, 21-0
Championship: Beat O’Dea, 21-7
First round: Beat Kennedy Catholic, 60-7
Quarterfinals: Beat O’Dea, 17-12
Semifinals: Beat Columbia River, 46-7
Championship: Beat Lynden, 28-19
First round: Beat Columbia River, 49-9
Quarterfinals: Beat Ferndale, 14-0
Semifinals: Beat Skyline, 42-24
Championship: Beat Lynden, 42-15