Belleville – Belleville head coach Jermain Crowell will not be on the sidelines Friday night when his team – ranked No. 2 in The Detroit News Super – plays host to Dearborn in a KLAA East Division game.
Crowell will be on a self-imposed one-game suspension for events that followed Belleville’s 35-14 win at Livonia Churchill last Friday.
“I’m suspending myself,” Crowell told The Detroit News. “There were some things that happened after the game that were unbecoming of Belleville, and at the end of the day I am the person that is responsible, so that is why I suspended myself.
“We had a parent that was pretty irate about playing time and it took too long to dissolve, so that’s what it is. Nothing happened on the field, just that after the game. It got out of hand and I wear Belleville on my chest and I was embarrassed by it.”
Crowell has built Belleville into a state power, winning its first state playoff game in 15 years two years ago, then earning its first regional championship in program history last season. Belleville will be putting its 26-game regular-season winning streak on the line against Dearborn.
Crowell said he will not be at the game.
“I want to show the kids that at the end of the day instead of pointing fingers at someone else we need to be accountable,” Crowell said. “I’m the person that wears the hat so I’m the person that gets my head chopped off.”
Assistant coach Robert Hunt, a former head coach at Detroit Osborn, will be calling the shots for Belleville against Dearborn, which upset preseason KLAA West favorite Canton 21-6 in the season opener before losing to Livonia Franklin last Friday, 42-20.
“Dearborn’s a good team, Coach (John) Powell is a good coach,” Crowell said. “They run the ball well. They spread you out and run the ball. They beat us two years ago at their place so he’s a good coach.”
Dearborn defeated Belleville 15-0 in Week 2 of the 2016 season, followed by a 34-25 loss to Dearborn Fordson in Week 3 before Belleville started its 26-game regular-season winning streak the following week.
Belleville athletic director Joe Brodie said it was Crowell’s decision alone to sit out Friday’s game.
“I had nothing to do with it,” Brodie said. “He did it for a variety of reasons. I was at the game and it had nothing to do with something that happened on the field. It was way after the game, 35-to-40 minutes after, and he just wanted to suspend himself for it happening.”