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Successful New Jersey prep football coach accused of strange academic misconduct

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

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Popular New Jersey prep football coach Sal Marchese has reportedly been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into academic improprieties -- Philly.com

Popular New Jersey prep football coach Sal Marchese has reportedly been placed on administrative leave pending …

A highly successful New Jersey prep football coach has been placed on administrative leave for what appears to be one player taking a test for another player ... in a health and physical education class, no less, according to multiple reports out of South Jersey.

A health and physical education class. Can't make this stuff up. Honestly, when student-athletes allegedly start requiring peers to help pass health and P.E. courses, there are larger issues at stake. Which also seems to be the case in this instance.

Franklinville (N.J.) Delsea Regional High football coach Sal Marchese, a health and phys. ed. teacher at the school who has led the Crusaders to six South Jersey titles in his 11 seasons at the helm, remains on administrative leave as he awaits the outcome of a Board of Education investigation into possible academic improprieties involving his players, according to reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer and South Jersey Times.

Both papers initially reported that a football player took a test, which one outlet described as a "marking period assessment," for a teammate, citing sources suggesting the alleged impropriety stemmed from an attempt to keep a student-athlete academically eligible at the end of Delsea's run to a second straight Group III championship this past November.

The South Jersey Times followed with a separate report that the test in question was actually a weight-training assessment in a physical education class, which makes this whole saga even more strange, especially when the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's odd academic eligibility rules are considered.

According to both papers, any alleged academic misconduct would have no bearing on a player's eligibility this season, since a student-athlete is only required to have completed 30 credits in his previous school year to remain qualified for fall and winter sports.

Based on that logic, it stands to reason an entire team of student-athletes in New Jersey could receive all D's as high school juniors, fail every class in the first semester of their senior year and still field a football team. Seems like a bigger problem.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at preprallyblog@yahoo.com or follow Prep Rally on Twitter!

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