Thursday, November 10, 2022

Coach suspended as recruitment is investigated

The ongoing investigation into any possible violations of recruitment rules has resulted in the suspension of Belleville High School football coach Jermain Crowell.

Crowell's suspension was prompted by an investigation by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MSHAA) revealed last week. The team is currently defending their top spot in the district championship final games. 

Belleville athletic director Joe Brodie said that Crowell was suspended during his own internal investigation of implications of wrongdoing in the attempted recruitment of Detroit King senior Jameel Croft Jr. when the player was a freshman. In an interview, Croft said that Crowell had driven him to seven on seven practices, a violation of state recruitment rules, and that he had attended practices at Belleville as a freshman.

Crowell has denied all the allegations.

Brodie said he would send the results of his investigation to MSHAA and that he did not know if the association had assigned an investigator to the situation or if officials would accept his findings.

According to published reports, the MHSAA may also be investigating other irregularities in the Belleville sport program. Belleville High School is a school-of-choice and has attracted several athletes who do not live in Belleville. There are allegations that Crowell may have violated travel rules of the association in June of 2019 when he took players to compete at a Penn State tournament.

Brodie said that Crowell was "obviously upset," but that he understands the situation. Brodie said he does not have an estimate of when his investigation may be complete or how long it may take the state association to make a decision.