BELLEVILLE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - After being accused of violating the undue influence rule under the Michigan High School Athletic Association, former Belleville High School football coach Jermain Crowell stands by his actions and principles.
The violation resulted in barring him from coaching any sport at any school in the state of Michigan for the next two academic years.
The investigation allegedly started when a student at Detroit King High School said Crowell contacted him before his freshman year. Crowell also allegedly picked him up and dropped him off at practices and 7-on-7 competitions.
"I want people to know you didn't hear me contest their decision because some of the things they accused me of, I did," Crowell said. "I did pick up and drop off because they had no other way."
Although Crowell says he did pick up and drop off some players, the now Detroit King athlete was not one of them.
"The kid did practice at Belleville," said Crowell. "Then Mick said that I gave him a ride or the kid said I gave him a ride, that was one of the kids that I actually never gave a ride to."
Although the MHSAA believes Crowell cut corners to make himself look better, he stands strong on his principles of why he did what he did. Objecting to reports that claim he was fired, Crowell says it was his decision to step down and accept the penalty for his mistakes.
"You get what you earn, and we all make mistakes, and when you make a mistake you own up to it," said Crowell.
Many in the Belleville community and peers of Crowell are still in pain over his absence from the football program.
"As soon as it happened, first thing everybody thought was we're going back to old Belleville," said Robert Steward, owner of Kutz Hair Studio.
Posts circulated throughout social media in support of Crowell and what he brought to the program including posts from his former athletes who currently play in the NFL.
Crowell led Belleville football to its first Division 1 state championship in the program's history and held an 86-10 record in his eight years as head coach. He also was a part of football programs at Cass Technical High School, Pershing High School, Kettering High School, and Harper Woods High School.
With four state titles, 10 semi-finals, 12 district finals and more under his belt, Crowell plans to step foot on the field again after the two-year suspension.
He says you can never care enough and if his actions mean just that and if he's wrong for it, then he'll be wrong all day.
for more features.