Canadian Football League

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Fake Canadian Football League Player?

Seven months after questions about his job application and background led to his dismissal at Morse High, football coach Stewart Roper is on the verge of being hired at Hiram Johnson High in Sacramento.
Johnson High Assistant Principal Cyndi Swindle said the school "plans on hiring him, but it's not official yet. I don't want what happened at Morse to happen here, where people jumped the gun and procedure isn't followed."
Roper was officially discharged from Morse because his job application was found to be incomplete. His dismissal came 13 days after he was announced as coach and five days after The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Roper had made false or unverifiable claims on previous job applications. He also was fired or resigned under pressure from at least two of his four jobs since 2001, according to previous employers and others who knew him.
Roper told The Sacramento Bee that the Union-Tribune stories were false and that he received an apology from an editor at the paper. First he said the apology was in print, then said it was verbal, according to the Bee. However, no apology was ever issued.
Additionally, his résumè for the Morse job and the Johnson job said he played in the CFL. But Roper is not listed on any CFL all-time rosters.
"I looked on the all-time rosters of the CFL, and no, I didn't find his name," Swindle said. "He told me who he played for and said he had been corresponding to the league."
The Union-Tribune obtained a copy of an e-mail Roper sent to Winnipeg Blue Bombers alumni director Cathy Garski requesting to be added to the team's all-time roster for the 1968-69 season. Asked about the e-mail last year, Garski said she tried to verify Roper's claim by contacting several members of that team.
"No one remembered him, and he wasn't in the team photo," Garski said. "I was skeptical at that point. I don't think he's legit. I get this once in a while. Lots of people like to pretend they played for the Blue Bombers."
Roper also stated on his résumè for the Morse job that he had published a book with Coaches' Choice. In fact, he had not. His résumè submitted for the Johnson job has been changed to say he's working on a book for Coaches' Choice, according to Swindle.
Roper has not coached a high school football game since he was dismissed after a three-game stint at Blythe Palo Verde in 2001. Roper disputes the reasons that were given for his departure there. Parents and players had accused him of rough treatment, including limited water breaks and derogatory language.
In June 2002, he was named coach at Bloomington High in San Bernardino County. Eight days later, he was dismissed because the school found inconsistencies with his résumè. Swindle said she wasn't aware of what happened in Bloomington.


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