Trails in the Sand by Peter Traciet, the Street Detective
Ol’ Pete has been dragging these sands in search of truth. The more The Detective drags, the deeper in dirt he gets. Knee deep in quicksand is an understatement, but Pete is committed to staying the course.
A week has gone by, yet Pete hasn’t found a solitary soul who can vouch that Jeptha “Jeff” Holness bleeds the mighty Blue and Gray. Ol’ Pete is hearing that even if he bleeds in a sea of water, he would be spared from a shark attack because there are now questions circling in the sand about whether Holness is even a Nova Southeastern University Shark. The legitimacy of Holness’ doctorate degree from NSU has reared its head. What the Jussie Smollet hell is going on with Jeptha Holness?
The likelihood that Holness graduated from Dillard in 1988 is probably less than 1 percent. Red Broward revealed that Holness helped to fund a reunion for the class of 1988 for Manchester High School in Jamaica. Red Broward further uncovered that Manchester High School’s official alumni website identifies Holness as a 1988 graduate. The website credits him as being a “generous donor” to Manchester High School’s 30th Class Reunion.
The Detective was able to dig up the Dillard High School commencement program for the Class of 1988.
Jeff, Jeptha, Jephtha or Jephthah Holness could not be found on the alphabetical listing of graduates. Holness, Jeptha should have followed Holiday, Joyce but no variation of the name could be found anywhere on the commencement program, and his picture nor name can be found in the 1988 yearbook.
There is no denying that Holness claims to be a 1998 Panther graduate. Traceit dug up a recording of Race and the Races with hosts, Narnike Grant and Sandra Cherefrere where Holness tells listeners that he graduated from Dillard High in 1988. He goes on to credit Dillard for paving the way for him to receive his doctorate degree from NSU.
Ol’ Pete’s scalp is itching for a scratch. It appears that Holness has lied about his high school alma mater. Who knows what else he has lied about and it begs the question: what other unscrupulous deeds has he done?
At the risk of creating an eerily similar parallel to the Obama Birther controversy, Pete suggests that Holness produces a high school diploma from Dillard High School and an official transcript verifying his doctorate from NSU. He needs to present the documentation timely or issue a public apology to Board Chair, Lori Alhadeff. If any of these allegations are true, Holness has fabricated his educational history on school board documents and websites.
Ol’ Pete is chucking. Holness is certainly in good company. Lest we forget the other doctor on the Board who lied about serving in the US military. Dr. Allan Zeman hasn’t publicly cleared up this lie yet. So, an apology from Holness would be more than what Zeman did.
A heartfelt apology just might clean the dirt, but it may not clear the path for redemption with Dillard alum. Holness owes Panther Nation a sincere repentance for perpetrating a Blue and Gray fraud. There needs to be a Jimmy Swaggert apology and cry specifically to the Dillard High School alum. Anything other than that leads Pete to recommend that Holness resign before he is forced to take the dead man walking trek down the elevator, past the Board room and to the parking where his parking sign will be removed before he gets there.
There is so much dirt along the beaten path, and Ol’ Pete will keep digging until he gets to a clean slate.
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