IN DEPTH: Jenks Athletic Department Investigation
By Kyle Dierking, OKBlitz.com
JENKS, Oklahoma -- Allan Trimble's on-the-field success is unparalleled in Oklahoma high school football.
He has led the Trojans to nine state championships in his 13 seasons as Jenks head coach, but on Friday, Trimble announced he was taking a self-imposed suspension without pay for the remainder of the 2009 season.
The move comes in wake of an independent investigation conducted by Tulsa attorney J. Douglas Mann in regards to the eligibility of Jenks student-athlete Jarrett Lake. The investigation also found that Trimble and the Jenks athletic department had committed several other OSSAA rules violations.
Trimble will not be allowed to have any contact with the Jenks football team and will be reassigned to a different Jenks campus for the remainder of the semester. He will be allowed to attend Jenks football games only as a spectator.
Jenks offensive coordinator Loren Montgomery will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2009 season.
"As you know, our football program has gone through some tough situations lately, some of which I'm responsible for," Trimble said in a letter to parents in booster club members. "Our players come first and I want them to be able to realize their goals and dreams for this season."
Read Allan Trimble's full letter to Jenks parents and booster club members
Jenks athletic director Tony Dillingham agreed to take a voluntary 15-day suspension without pay. He also will submit an irrevocable resignation, meaning that the school board can accept it at any time between now and June 30, 2010. According to the self-imposed penalties released by the Jenks school district, it puts Dillingham on "probation" and Jenks schools can monitor his job performance.
"I will work diligently to correct the errors I have made and work with our coaches and administrators to insure that mistakes of this type will not occur again," Dillingham said in a letter of apology.
Read Tony Dillingham's full letter of apology
Additionally, Jenks offensive line coach David Alexander is serving a two-game suspension that included the Trojans October 2 win against Sapulpa. He will also not receive any more financial compensation for the remainder of the school year.
Unpaid assistant coach Clyde "Red" Griffith will be suspended from participating in all activity involving the Jenks football team for the rest of the 2009-10 school year. The only time he will be allowed on the Jenks campus will be to attend football games.
The Jenks School District has submitted the findings of the investigation to the OSSAA and could find out if it faces further penalties during an October 7 board meeting.
"We are hoping there will be no further penalties," said Jenks superintendant Dr. Kirby Lehman. "We have imposed, in my estimation, some substantial penalties."
If the Trojans football team qualifies for the 2009 playoffs, they have agreed to give back any money to the OSSAA that it would receive for its participation in the post-season.
According to the 2009-2010 OSSAA football handbook, the host team receives 50% of the game receipts, while the visitor takes 30%. The OSSAA receives 20% of the net game receipts. If the game is played at a neutral site, such as the state semi-finals or championship game, both schools take 35% of the gate, while the OSSAA receives 30%.
The findings of the investigation surround Lake and six other unnamed students. According to the report, Jenks repeatedly violated OSSAA rule 9, which regulates inappropriate recruiting incentives for athletes.
Read the full explanation of OSSAA rule 9
According to the investigation, the rules violations with Lake began with his first encounter at Jenks. Prior to enrolling, Lake met with Trimble and other coaches about playing football for the Trojans during March/April 2008 and was not reported to the OSSAA as required by the rules. During that time, Lake took part in a workout during a scheduled class under the supervision of school district coaches. The report says that, "coaches were able to judge some of Jarrett's athletic abilities and deficiencies."
Lake also participated as a full member of the Jenks football team during summer camps. He was not required to pay the full costs of the camp.
During the 2008-09 school year, Lake first lived with Griffith, an arrangement that was facilitated by Trimble, according to the report. Trimble also knew that Lake later lived with the Lynn family, another living situation that was not at a parent or guardian's and resulted in the Trojans forfeiting nine games in which Lake had significant playing time as well as its state runner-up trophy from last season.
There was also negligence with Lake's eligibility form and had it been properly executed, it would have cleared up many of the problems with his dual residency as well as being able to participate in athletics at Jenks.
8/12/2009 Related Story: Jenks' Jarrett Lake Looks To The Future
The other unnamed football players that Jenks was in violation with includes one current football player and five former student-athletes.
Alexander, who in addition to being the offensive line coach at Jenks, also has a homebuilding business. He hired a player's mother and sister to clean his "spec houses" for $10 per hour. He also deposited $200 into the player's mother's PSO account to turn back on the electricity.
That same student's mother resides in a house that is owned by a current Jenks booster and former Jenks School Board member.
Trimble was involved in an incident 11 years ago in which he found envelopes addressed to two players in his school mailbox containing approximately $100. The money came from a member of the Jenks booster club. The booster who provided the money was banned by the football booster club, but according to the report, Trimble did not report the matter to the athletic director or the OSSAA.
Before the end of the school year, Jenks says it is going to identify a compliance officer, outside of the athletic department. That person will be responsible for looking over policies and procedures as well as quarterly audits of the athletic department. Summaries of those audits will be submitted to the OSSAA for at least the next two years.
"We want (Trimble) and (Dillingham) both here five years from now with a program that is exemplary in modeling how OSSAA rules should be administered and implemented in a school district," Lehman said.