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JaMarcus Russell out as high school football coach, accused of stealing donation to school

Sports

Former No. 1 NFL draft pick JaMarcus Russell has been removed from the coaching staff at the high school he attended in Mobile, Alabama, and is facing a lawsuit accusing him of taking money meant as a donation to the school.

JaMarcus Russell was relieved of his volunteer coaching duties at Williamson High School during the fall of last year,” Mobile County Public School officials told WKRG Sports.

Russell is also facing a lawsuit alleging that he took a $74,000 check intended as a donation to the school and kept the money for himself. Chris Knowles, a local business owner who wrote the check, says Russell approached him about a donation to help the Williamson High School football team purchase weight room equipment, and Knowles gave Russell the donation by check. But the school allegedly never got any of that money, and Russell reportedly deposited it in a credit union and promptly withdrew $55,000 of that.

Russell was a star football player for Williamson High School before going to college at LSU, but the school says he’s no longer welcome. When Russell attended an event for the football team this week, the district made clear to him that he shouldn’t be there.

“Earlier this week, it was reiterated to Mr. Russell that he is not permitted to be around the football program or on school campus,” the school district said in a statement to WKRG.

The 38-year-old Russell was the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. He started 25 games for the Raiders over three seasons and ended his NFL career with a 52.1 percent completion rate, 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.