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Former No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell removed as HS assistant after allegedly taking $74K donation and cashing it

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell’s NFL career is remembered as an infamous one. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Russell went just 7-18 as a starter over parts of three seasons, completing only 52.1% of his passes at an average of a paltry 6.0 yards per attempt, with 18 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions. He is considered one of the worst No. 1 draft picks in history.

Russell has had an up-and-down post-NFL life as well. He was arrested in July 2010 for possession of codeine syrup without a valid prescription, although he was ultimately not indicted on the charge. He later admitted in an interview with ESPN, though, that he had tested positive for codeine after being drafted by the Raiders.ย 

More recently, Russell had been working as a volunteer coaching assistant at his high school alma mater, Williamson High School in Mobile, Alabama. However, Russell was removed from that position last year after Russell, according to court documents, deposited and cashed a $74,000 dollar check intended as a donation to the school, in July 2022.

“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.

The check was written by Chris Knowles of Selwonk Enterprises, a local building company, who told WKRG (the local CBS affiliate in Mobile) that Russell approached him for the donation, which Russell said would be used to purchase weight-room equipment for the school, but that Russell would not provide a receipt for the donation and stopped returning his calls.ย 

The check was deposited and cashed by Russell at Navigator Credit Union, which is suing Russell for $55,000, which according to the lawsuit the company says was “lent” to Russell by the credit union. Russell, meanwhile, filed a counterclaim against Knowles for stopping payment on the check. Russell admitted to depositing it, but denied wrongdoing, according to court documents obtained by WKRG. Russell’s attorney would not comment on the case when asked by WKRG.

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Author: Jared Dubin
June 29, 2024 | 1:20 pm

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