For me, all you need to know is that if a person was around at that time and got accepted as an uchideshi then that person went through a heavy programme and thus has some goods. Simple.
Conversely, if I characterized myself as having trained directly with Saotome for 20 years it would be OK, even though it was more like 8 and most of that time I was with Frank Hreha?
Sounds good to me, if I keep on going maybe I'll find out that I've actually been training for 60 years instead of 30.
And before anybody leaps on this - I think that the exaggeration in this case, while real, is of little real consequence. That's why I chose it rather than some of the more flagrant things that have gone on in the past.