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Mount Clemens coach leaves team amid controversy involving his son

  • Mount Clemens fell to Detroit Consortium in a Class C state quarterfinal game. The Bathers' coach, Jermaine Jackson Sr. parted ways with the Mount Clemens School District on Thursday. (Photos by Ray J. Skowronek of The Macomb Daily)
  • Mount Clemens was ranked No. 1 for much of the season in Class C. The Bathers finished 24-2 and compiled a 45-4 record under head coach Jermaine Jackson Sr. over the past two seasons.
  • Mount Clemens superintendent Deborah Walsh announced that coach Jermaine Jackson would be leaving the programs, saying "This has been brewing for a while - what’s led up to this. This isn’t something that happened overnight."
  • “I wasn’t having coaching because of all the hatred,” Mount Clemens basketball coach Jermaine Jackson said of his leaving the program. “There is so much hatred towards me that it was hindering the kids.”
  • The Mount Clemens superintendent said that the tipping point to parting ways with coach Jermaine Jackson (above) was over how points scored in games were attributed to his son, Jermaine Jackson Jr.
  • Jermaine Jackson Jr. was a freshman for the Bathers this season, playing under his father and head coach, Jermaine Jackson Sr.
  • Jermaine Jackson Jr. was a first-team all-state selection in Class C after averaging 18 points and seven assists per game in 2013-14.
  • At least one Macomb County coach said that Jermaine Jackson's scoring average was increased by six points this season.
  • Jermaine Jackson Jr.'s father, Jermaine Sr., said he handles his son's stats, but doesn't handle the score book.
  • Jermaine Jackson Jr. was the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division player of the year.

Superintendent, coaches claim coach's son had points added to average

DETROIT - After two seasons as the Mount Clemens boys basketball coach, the school has decided to part ways with Jermaine Jackson Sr.

“There will be a change in our basketball coach next year,” Mount Clemens superintendent Deborah Wahlstrom said Thursday. “This has been brewing for a while -- what’s led up to this. This isn’t something that happened overnight. It has nothing to do with the big games or anything. That made it an even more difficult decision, especially for the kids. But we have to do what’s best for the good and the fit (of) the district and the fit was not good. It wasn’t what we needed it to be.”

Jackson said he resigned.

“It was just my time, that’s it,” he said. “It wasn’t a fit for me no more. It’s nothing personal with anybody or anything, but sometimes you can see the writing on the wall. That’s what it was.”

Jackson said he resigned the day after Mount Clemens lost in a Class C state quarterfinal basketball game to Detroit Consortium on March 18.

“I called the superintendent and told her I was turning in my stuff,” Jackson said. “I told her I can’t work under these circumstances.

“I wasn’t having coaching because of all the hatred,” Jackson continued. “There is so much hatred towards me that it was hindering the kids.”

Jackson’s Mount Clemens team spent most of the season as the top-ranked Class C team in the state. The Bathers finished with a 24-2 record. In his two years as the Mount Clemens coach, the school compiled a 45-4 record.

Jackson played high school basketball at Detroit Finney and went on to star at the University of Detroit Mercy. He had a six-year career in the National Basketball Association.

Jackson also said he had a sit down with Mount Clemens School Board President Earl Rickman last Thursday.

Rickman said board members on Thursday afternoon received a text message from Wahlstrom about a change in the basketball program.

“If for some reason the administration felt there was a need to separate services with Mr. Jackson, I have not yet been made aware of the reasons,” Rickman said. “I like Mr. Jackson as a person and as a basketball coach. If there will be a transition, if he did in fact resign or was not asked to return, there will be some changes in the program. I feel he did a great job this year with the kids and the team.”

The tipping point in the school deciding to part ways with Jackson was over how points scored in games were attributed to his son, Jermaine Jackson Jr., rather than the actual players that scored the points, said the superintendent.

That issue was raised by a number of coaches as well in Macomb County.

“He’s made some choices that don’t serve our students well,” Wahlstrom said. “That’s not acceptable and not right for our other kids. It’s tearing at other people’s souls and we have to keep our school community in good shape.”

It’s a point Jackson denied.

“I don’t do the stats,” Jackson said. “I don’t call the stats in so how am I cheating, or whatever they called it, I’m doing my son’s stats. I don’t do the book, (Mount Clemens) hires someone to do the book so how can it be the book. I’m not even trying to discuss the book, they hire someone to do the book.”

One coach said that his son’s scoring average per game was increased by six points.

“He got player of the year in the conference,” Jackson said. “Coaches vote on that. I don’t vote. The coaches vote. How do they do that? They come out and see.

“It’s too much,” Jackson added. “The hatred around here that’s on me affects the kids. I want these kids to have fun playing basketball and get where they’re supposed to get.”

Also, the day after the Bathers lost in the quarterfinals, four players came into the school and asked for their transcripts, which the administration found unusual, as well.

Jackson admitted his wife went to the school to ask for his son’s transcript because there were some grades on it that needed to be changed.

“Every kid on that team needs their transcripts,” Jackson said. “There’s no counselors in the school so you need the transcripts for the NCAA Clearinghouse. You can’t go to college without them. They don’t know that. I explained that to everyone. Those kids need to make sure they’re taking the right classes to get in.”

Jackson also denied the kids asked for their transcripts in order to transfer to another high school.

“These kids are being recruited so they’ve got to get their transcripts for the NCAA Clearinghouse,” Jackson said. “Every kid needs them. Every kid’s parent works. The parents called, so what’s the problem.”

Jackson also heads the Jermaine Jackson Foundation, which operates the Jermaine Jackson-Cairns Community Center in Mount Clemens. The center offers a variety of educational classes, activities and mentoring programs aimed at residents 18 and under along with senior programs and a food program for families.

The center is owned by the city of Mount Clemens, which leases it to Mount Clemens Community School District, which in turn subleases it to the Jermaine Jackson Foundation. The center is financed primarily through rental fees, grants and donations.

Jackson took over the facility in 2012 and developed after-school programming along with recreational and nutritional instruction to help children throughout Mount Clemens.

Earlier this week, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and other county officials toured the center to explore ways to work with the foundation to improve services and programs provides to under-served area youngsters and families.

In 2013, Hackel appointed Jackson to the Macomb County Ethics Board.

- Mitch Hotts also contributed to this report.

Last Updated: 3/28/2014 4:19:33 AM EST

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