Former No. 1 coach JaMarcus Russell has been fired and faces a lawsuit

Former NFL No. 1 running back JaMarcus Russell has been fired from his job as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Williamson High School in Mobile, Alabama, and is facing a lawsuit accusing him of taking a $74,000 check that was intended for 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 Schools officials told WKRG Sports.

A local business owner, Chris Knowles, wrote a check for $74,000, saying Russell had contacted him about a donation to help the Williamson football team purchase weight room equipment. The school allegedly never received the check, and Russell allegedly deposited it at a credit union and immediately withdrew $55,000.

In addition to being fired as a coach, Russell is also not permitted to be on school campus, according to a statement from Mobile County Public School officials. Russell attended a football team event this week, but was told he was not welcome.

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

Russell, 38, was a star quarterback at Williamson before going to college at LSU, where he threw for 6,625 yards and 52 touchdowns in three years before turning pro.

Russell was the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft and started 25 games for the Raiders over three seasons. He finished his NFL career with a 52.1% completion rate, 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, and is considered perhaps the NFL’s biggest draft bust.

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He earned over $36.4 million in salary and bonuses during his NFL career.

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