SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) — New details are emerging about the resignation of a middle Michigan basketball coach.
Eugene Seals resigned as women’s basketball coach at Heritage High in Saginaw Township last month. He says he was accused of recruiting a student-athlete to come to Heritage, but says that’s not true.
Yet he was suspended from coaching Michigan high school basketball for two years.
“I have nothing to hide,” Seals says of what happened this season.
Heritage High School’s women’s basketball team finished with a 12-9 record and shortly after their season ended in March, Seals announced her resignation.
The Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame has coached the team for the past two seasons.
“I was thinking about what’s in the best interest of the kids,” Seals says.
He said last season was plagued by an allegation that he recruited or exerted undue influence on Bangor High School sophomore John Glenn.
The teenager, who will not be identified, changed schools in November. Her mother says the move to Heritage was for personal reasons and her daughter was in no way recruited by Seals.
Seals says the student played for her AAU team when she was in college.
“I don’t know if she knows anyone, me being the guy I am, get her to come see me and she can take the team stats and practice,” he said.
Seals says he took two team photos, one without the student and one with, in case the teenager is cleared to play.
Michigan High School Athletic Association transfer rules did not allow him to play this season. Seals says she hasn’t played any games.
He said that some time later, Heritage athletic director Kent Kraatz called him into a meeting.
“There was an accusation of undue influence and so, I let him know, I don’t care about the accusations, because I know I didn’t,” Seals said.
The complaint came from an official at Bangor John Glenn High School. Heritage investigated the complaint and concluded that Seals exercised undue influence.
Kraatz wrote in an email to ABC12 News, in part, that “Heritage High School has concluded a full investigation into our girls’ basketball program. The matter is considered closed.”
The school reported its finding to MHSAA, which accepted the findings of the investigation.
Additionally, the entity that sets the rules for high school sports has penalized Seals in that he cannot coach in a tournament for the next two school years.
The recruitment of high school students for athletics is prohibited.
Seals doesn’t know what evidence MHSAA based its suspension decision on, but he believes it has this photo that Seals put on its social media page showing the coach with three players he was coaching in February 2021, the previous school. year.
One of the athletes is the student who transferred in November.
“All it took was an assumption that doesn’t know anything about me or who I am, and they ran with it, even though I told them it wasn’t true,” Seals said.
It’s unclear what other evidence there was in this recruiting investigation, but Kent Kraatz, the athletic director says “Heritage High School doesn’t know if MHSAA’s findings were based solely on information from Heritage.”
Seals is exploring his appeal options with MHSAA on this suspension.