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EXCLUSIVE: Mays coach counters allegations of fund misuse

<p>Photo: 11Alive</p>

Benjamin E. Mays High School head football coach Corey Jarvis is seeking to clear his name after being accused of misusing the team's finances.

Corey Jarvis was placed on administrative leave after an external auditor discovered that the team's finances had "not been appropriately managed," Atlanta Public Schools (APS) confirmed to 11Alive Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with 11Alive, Jarvis admitted to bad bookkeeping.

"I was never trained in proper protocol," he said.

He said that this along with confrontation with booster president Shanrika McClain after a football game last September resulted in his administrative leave.

However, Jarvis feels he has enough proof to exonerate his name of the allegations.

"I feel like my name is getting drug through the mud," Jarvis said.

The first allegation was in regard to roughly $4,003 of missing receipts. Jarvis allegedly paid for these expenses with cash and did not properly record the dates of the spending. They included receipts from visits to University of Georgia and Auburn as well as a 7-on-7 competition at Lassiter High School and getting the field painted for an APS 7-on-7 at Mays.

"When I came back and put down the dates or whatever, they said that the dates didn't coincide with the deposits," Jarvis said.

The second allegation had to do with a check for the team's participation in the Inner City Classic against Southwest DeKalb High School that went to booster president McClain rather than the school's account.

Someone from the game gave the check to her to give to Jarvis so he could deposit it into the school's account. When he asked for it at the game, it turned into a confrontation.

"I told her the check needed to go into the school account and she kind of got smart with me," Jarvis said. "I told her, 'You're not going to talk to me like a child.'"

It turned into a verbal confrontation that one of Jarvis's assistant coaches broke up. Jarvis said it was never physical and that it "looked worse than it really was."

McClain reported him and five other people to Georgia's Professional Standards Commission. Jarvis dissolved any connection with the booster program and tried to get a restraining order against McClain but was denied.

Jarvis was told Tuesday that he would be put on administrative leave after being notified of the allegations.

"They said those were grounds for them to recommend me to be terminated," Jarvis said.

Jarvis was investigated back in January for a $5,700 check that was for the athletes' meals. An outside auditor came in and discovered Jarvis was not keeping a receipt book with dates, but he was exonerated of any wrongdoing regarding that check.

However, that was what led to the discovery of the missing $4,003.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution originally reported Jarvis' administrative leave after obtaining a report that said $10,000 that belonged to the team was unaccounted for. They also had reports that Jarvis had been in a confrontation with a parent and school visitor.

In February, Jarvis had accepted the head coaching job at Griffin High School before backing out at the last second to stay at Mays.

Jarvis addressed backing out of the job saying he had not properly discussed it with his wife. He also said he felt like it looked like he was guilty if he left.

"When I sat down and talked to my wife, she said, 'Baby, just stay, fight it out.'"

Jarvis has coached Mays for three seasons. In 2014, his team was the state runner-up after losing in the state championship game. Mays has gone to the playoffs all three years under Jarvis.

Jarvis also coaches the boys and girls track and field teams, but he won't get to see them compete in the state championship because of his administrative leave.

Jarvis is also a teacher at Mays High School. Before arriving at Mays in 2013, he coached at Duluth High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.

11Alive obtained a letter that was sent home to parents Wednesday.

APS released the following statement:

“Atlanta Public Schools has placed Coach Corey Jarvis on administrative leave from his role as teacher and head football coach at Mays High School. This action is a result of a comprehensive review of the football program through which an external auditor discovered that the team’s finances had not been appropriately managed. Atlanta Public Schools is committed to operating with a high level of professionalism and integrity and expects appropriate behavior from all its employees at all times.”