UPDATE, June 4, 4:15 p.m. ET: Bruce Feldman, who has covered George Whitfield Jr. extensively in the past, provided some additional insight at FOXSports.com:
The Shreveport Times story mentioned that "Arenafan.com is the consummate source for Arena Football and there is no George Whitfield, Jr. in their database," but there actually is a story on that site mentioning Whitfield playing quarterback for the Louisville Fire in a 2004 exhibition game and throwing two touchdowns.
The above quote seems to indicate that Whitfield *did* in fact, play in the Arena League, at least for a little bit. Whether Whitfield embellished his experience in other ways (per the Times article, Whitfield claims he played for the Bossier City Battle Wings as well, a claim rejected by the owner of the team), remains to be seen.
Before joining SB Nation, I worked in the corporate recruiting world for a few years. If you're looking for a solid resume tip, my biggest would be "don't lie on your resume", especially about where you worked. Double checking references and making sure that somebody worked where they said they did is easier than ever, and if you keep climbing, eventually, somebody is going to catch you if you aren't being truthful.
Many folks in sports have been caught stretching the truth on their resumes. The most recent might just be famed QB tutor George Whitfield, who has coached Braxton Miller and Johnny Manziel before.
Per Tim Fletcher of the Shreveport Times, Whitfield has been claiming Arena Football experience that he doesn't actually have. From Fletcher:
Arenafan.com is the consummate source for Arena Football and there is no George Whitfield, Jr. in their database. The only player from Whitfield’s alma mater, Tiffin University (Ohio) spat out from the sites search is Greg Freeman who played sparingly from 1991-93.
According to Fletcher, there actually isn't any evidence that Whitfield played in the Arena League at all.
Is this unique in the sporting world? Not really. Less than two weeks ago, Deadspin published an article claiming that Clippers CEO Dick Parsons did not, as he previously indicated, play basketball for Hawaii. Also recently, USF had to scuttle a deal to bring on Steve Masiello as their head coach, after they learned that Masiello did not, in fact, graduate college, even though he said he did.
Does that make Whitfield's quarterback magic a fraud? Not necessarily. In addition to Miller, Whitfield has worked with numerous high profile QBs, like Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. His drills to help simulate QB pressure have started to cross more into the mainstream, and if he wasn't effective, people wouldn't shell out the coin to work with him.
These allegations, if true, do create questions about his character though, and given that he is one of the most influencial voices in football development, it could become a big story. Since Whitfield is self-employed, nobody can really "fire" him over these allegations, but it could potentially impact his client base – which otherwise might have included the next great Ohio State QB.