Florida coach’s elaborate conterfeit summer school transcript ring lands him felony charges

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A former assistant football coach in Florida found himself charged with two felony counts after a length investigation determined that he knowingly falsified documents and received "unlawful compensation" in a summer school black market scheme that helped some of his own players gain eligibility for the 2011 football season.

As first reported by the Palm Beach Post and South Florida NBC affiliate WPTV, former Forest Hills (Fla.) High assistant football coach Michael Dudeck was arrested and briefly held behind bars before he posted a $6,000 bail in connection with a summer school scandal. According to Palm Beach County Sherriff's Office, Dudeck is allegedly responsible for an elaborate scheme where the coach created fake summer school transcripts for athletes at Forest Hills and Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer High so that they could compete in school athletics during the subsequent season.

While Dudeck had already been forced out as the assistant football coach at Forest Hills, he was still listed as the head softball coach at Palm Beach (Fla.) Central High until his arrest, which reportedly caught the school's athletic director, Ron Matella, completely off guard.

Dudeck's crimes are directly related to falsification of documents, but the former coach built up a rather elaborate background story to ensure that the fake transcripts appeared to be completely legitimate. According to the Post, Dudeck listed a number of area teachers as employees of a tutoring company he personally ran called the "Knowledge Zone."

Yet, when the teachers who allegedly worked at the Knowledge Zone were interviewed by school authorities, they claimed to have no knowledge of Dudeck whatsoever. Armed with that information, administrators determined that a handful of players who had enlisted in Dudeck's summer services had presented falsified documents to the school district. They withheld those athletes from further participation and turned the case over to the police, who then determined that Dudeck had received payment for some of the falsified documents, with one student allegedly contributing $300 for the fake transcript.

The criminal charges almost certainly bring an end to Dudeck's long high school coaching career throughout the Palm Beach region. The coach only spent a single season as the head coach of a high school football program — he led Palm Beach (Fla.) Pope St. Paul II in 2007 — he served as a head softball coach at four different schools in the area, all while helping out the football team at Forest Hills, where he also served as a math teacher.

Now he won't be serving in any of those capacities, after his rather brash attempts to aid otherwise ineligible athletes was brought to light.

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