Family members were unsure Sunday about the whereabouts of Ron McKelvey, a University of Texas defensive back dismissed from the team Saturday amid allegations that he is a 30-year-old playing under an assumed name at his fourth college.
Friends and family members confirmed that McKelvey is Ron Weaver, whose eligibility expired after playing the 1989 season at California State University, Sacramento. In all, Weaver has played seven seasons of college football in the past 10 years: two at Peninsula Community College (1986-87) in California; two at Sacramento State (1988-89); two at Los Angeles Pierce College (1993-94); and one at Texas (1995).
His half-sister, Bonita Money, 33, issued a statement Sunday on McKelvey’s behalf. She said she has known of her brother’s ruse since the 1993 season, when he was living with her in Los Angeles and playing under the name “Ron McKelvey” at Pierce.
The player’s parents, Richard and Sung Weaver, did not know of his assumed identity, she said.
“They knew he was in school, but they didn’t know he was playing football,” Money said. She said they learned the truth Saturday night.
The Weavers have an unlisted phone number in Salinas, Calif., where they operate a liquor store. Money said they “are a little bit nervous” about what has happened to their son because he has not contacted them.
On Saturday, with Texas officials investigating his true identity after the scam was revealed by the Californian newspaper in Salinas, Weaver packed his bags and left New Orleans without notifying the team. The Longhorns were in New Orleans for Sunday night’s Cotton Bowl game against Virginia Tech.
Money said Weaver didn’t flee to escape the authorities, but because he needs time to collect his thoughts.
“It’s not like he’s a fugitive,” she said. “He’s not on the run because he thinks police are after him. He just didn’t want to deal with the coaches. And there are 20,000 Longhorns fans walking around here.”
In the statement read by Money, Weaver apologized to Texas players and coaches for any trouble he has caused them. Money said she expects Weaver to make his own statement soon. She would not say where her brother went after leaving the hotel.
“He definitely understands the severity of the situation,” she said.
Texas officials turned over their findings to the FBI in New Orleans Saturday night. A woman answering the telephone at the bureau said no one would be available to discuss the case until Tuesday.
Money, who said she is a film producer in Los Angeles, said it never occurred to her to encourage Weaver to end the scam.
“For somebody to do that takes a lot of guts,” she said. “It’s not your average story.”
Money said her brother is not planning to write a book, as he told a reporter from the Californian. He played under McKelvey’s name, she said, “because he loves football and wanted a second chance to play.”
Texas officials dismissed McKelvey from the team Saturday and declared him ineligible after he departed the team hotel instead of showing up for an afternoon meeting with Texas coach John Mackovic.