EL PASO, Texas - Burges High alum John Skelton has made a name for himself in the NFL. In 2010 Skelton was a fifth round selection in the NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
As he tried to avoid sacks from defensive lineman, records show the QB was avoiding child support.
In 2006 when John Skelton went off to Fordham in New York to play college football, he graduated from Burges High School not just with a diploma, but a daughter on the way.
For the first three years of his child's life the mother of his child said he wasn't asked to pay child support, but that changed when he was drafted and began earning an NFL salary.
"Honestly, I can't think of all the times," the mother of John Skelton's daughter said. "Like, there's been issues when I've had to call and remind him or call the attorney general and tell them 'look he hasn't paid anything.'"
The mother of John Skelton's daughter asked ABC-7 not to identify her. She got pregnant in high school, but after acknowledging and agreeing that he would become financially responsible for his then three year old daughter after college, she says John Skelton didn't seem to be sticking to his word.
According to the mother, when Skelton denied the girl was his the court ordered a paternity test.
"They were second guessing that (___) wasn't his," the mother of John Skelton's daughter told ABC-7 Sports Reporter Asher Wildman.
The paternity test showed Skelton was the father. In June of 2010 the Texas Attorney General issued a "Notice of Child Support Lien" stating Skelton owed more than nine-thousand dollars to the child. Ouisa Davis, a family attorney for the county of El Paso would not speak about Skelton's case, but explains how some parents may find themselves with big bills.
"A lot of times in establishment cases, one of the things the attorney is going to do is not only establish the parent child relationship and the continuing child support obligation, the custodial parent also has a right to collect up to four years of retroactive support," Davis said.
The Cardinals then had to withhold money from his paycheck. A total of $267 dollars a month. Two years later, a judge ordered that amount to be $2,000 a month.
"All that stuff with the NFL that doesn't mean anything to me." The mother of Skelton's daughter said. "I just want him to have a relationship with my daughter, I mean his daughter. That's all I want."
For nearly the next two years, records show Skelton was in and out of court and last spring, the court found there was an arrearage in child support of more than $19,000.
"It was stressful and confusing," the mother of Skelton's child explained. "Because a lot of times I did not know what to do. I have always had my family's support but being 17 and having a daughter in high school on your own and seeing the father leave you with all the responsibility its been hard, really hard. I had to mature quick but I mean, it just made me stronger."
The court ordered Skelton to pay the lump sum, as well as purchase health insurance for his daughter, and set up a life insurance policy on himself on his daughter's behalf. According to the mother of his child, earlier this year John Skelton told her he wanted to become a better father and have a more prominent role.
"I just want everything to work out between my daughter and him, that's all I want. even if he wasn't in the NFL, even if he was working here in El Paso, I would still be the same way."
Currently, John Skelton is a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. He is expected to compete for the team's backup quarterback position in the fall.
For the past two weeks, ABC-7's Asher Wildman has reached out to Skelton's lawyer in El Paso, his father, his agent, and Skelton himself. Wildman met personally with Skelton's father for 90 minutes, but he did not want to state anything on the record. On Sunday, Wildman reached out to Skelton Sr. once again, but he told Wildman their family did want to comment on this story.
Update: John Skelton tweeted the following at 1:17 p.m. Mountain Time on May 30, 2013: "I do not need to defend myself against erroneous, defaming information. People who know me, know the truth."