(2-17-22) If you plan on watching the movie Carter High and hope for an inspirational ending…about a Dallas Texas High School football team that was deemed as the best ever to come out of Texas…then you might want to pass on it.

The 1988 Cowboys playoff season was highlighted by accusations of grade manipulation of a player, the team being declared ineligible several times during the playoffs, constant trips to court to get a restraining order on University Interscholastic League (UIL) rulings, delays of games and finally winning the state championship.

Two years later in 1991 Carter High would be stripped of its Texas State Championship after a court found that it had indeed violated the no-pass, no-play law. Converse Judson was declared the state champion.

1988 Carter Coaches

After the season had ended it was found that numerous Carter players were involved in a robbery gang that would add to a devastating ending for the 1988 team. The robberies were part of a string of 21 armed robberies that were committed.

1989 Stories –

State District Judge Joe Kendall during the sentencing said –

‘If stupidity were a crime, you would all deserve life without parole. Most of you have had religious and moral training, the opportunity for a decent education, and some of you have even been given by God athletic talent that would enable you to receive a free college education.

‘When I compare you with a typical young offender who comes before me, you are especially without excuse,’ Kendall added. ‘… Despite all the public attention, you are nothing but a bunch of criminals who went out, put guns on honest working people, terrified them and took their money.’

‘The typical American male lives vicariously … through the lives of football heroes. However, when it comes to violating the law, at the courthouse it simply doesn’t matter that you can run the football.’

Kendall sentenced the athletes to prison terms of up to 25 years for their roles in numerous armed robberies in the Dallas area over the past year. They pleaded guilty to holding up a total of 21 restaurants, including some that they were employees of at the time.

Derric Evans, 17 years old, Parade Magazine All-American defensive back last year at Dallas Carter High School who lost a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee was sentenced to four 20 years armed robbery counts,.

Gary Edwards, 17, He signed with the University of Houston, was sentenced to 16 years on three counts

Keith Campbell, 18, received a 25-year term for his involvement in four robberies. Judge Kendall said he was a ringleader.

Patrick ″P.K.″ Williams and Carlos Allen, pleaded guilty with Campbell to the group’s first holdup.

Others were sentenced to prison and were given prison terms ranging from 2 to 16 years.

Dallas sports psychologist Tom McGaffey told the AP in 1989 that the entire team could have used counseling –

″Prominence gives a feeling of power. And if it happens suddenly and without the development of discipline and responsibility … they’re in for trouble.″

″We forget the fact that a 17-year-old or 18-year-old is still a kid in our culture.″

Over they years and thanks to the movie Carter’s 1988 season still gets a lot of attention.

Cowboy defensive back Gary Edwards told WFAA in 2013

“In my eyes, I’d say we were the best ever. Not just the best in Dallas or Texas, I would like to say we’re the best team ever assembled.”

What Carter Lost | 30 for 30 Trailer | ESPN

Did you know…

From rollingout.comCarter High’ film explores other side of ‘Friday Night Lights’

Carter High stars Charles S. Dutton, Vivica A. Fox, and rapper/activist David Banner in a story about the rise and fall of a champion high school football team during a time it was more popular in Dallas than the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The executive producer of the movie is former all-pro Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Ellis.

Ellis said –

“This Carter High thing is the other side of Friday Night Lights. The team got 37 minutes of airtime during that movie which is unthinkable considering the story was about Odessa Permian’s season”.

Friday Night Lights Dallas Carter scene