Former Clinton High School Football Coach says He’s a Scapegoat
Photo courtesy of WVLT

Former Clinton High School Football Coach says He’s a Scapegoat

Former Clinton High School Football Coach Darrell Keith is now saying he had no idea an athlete on his team was ineligible to play during the 2023 football season.

This, after the Anderson County School System and Anderson County Sheriff’s Office launched investigations into more than 1,000 grade changes made over the last few months and school years, both centered on former Principal Dan Jenkins and teachers Rachel Jones and Clay Turpin.

Jenkins has since resigned, and the Anderson County Board of Education elected to fire Jones and Turpin at a special-called meeting last week.

Previous Coverage: Two Clinton High School teachers fired after changing nearly 1,500 grades, report says

While not explicitly tied to the grade changes, the school was ordered to forfeit all of its 2023 wins after it self-reported that an athlete did not receive enough credits the previous year to play on the team. ACS representatives told WVLT News that after the school system learned of this, they decided not to renew Keith’s contract as head football coach.

Keith said he had no access to change grades during his time at Clinton High School. According to ACS documents on the investigation, Jones said in an interview that Keith had asked her to change student grades.

“At some point in approximately August 2022, Keith came into Jones’ room and showed her a transcript with marks by certain grades. According to Jones, Keith said she needed to ‘replace the grades’ by placing the student into Odysseyware classes,” the transcript reads.

“How is her word more credible than mine?” he said over the phone to WVLT News on Wednesday.

Previous Coverage: Clinton High School to forfeit all 2023 football wins for playing ineligible athlete after grade-changing accusations

“I’m a scapegoat. I spent 27 years, faithfully in the United States Military. I don’t know if it was because I am Black or an easy target,” Keith said. “I’m really hurt; I’m really torn up about it.”

Going forward, Keith said he plans to speak with a lawyer and plan the best move for the future. He added that his feelings, and the controversy currently surrounding the school, have nothing to do with the people of Clinton.

“The people in Clinton are golden,” he said. “Golden.”

Story courtesy of WVLT

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