MASSILLON, OH (WOIO) - baseball coach Neall French was arrested earlier this month for violating state drug laws, according to a Cleveland police report.
French, who spent the last 24 years either playing or coaching baseball, was arrested during a traffic stop around 8 p.m. on March 9. He was on State Road when he was pulled over with another man. According to the report, French had a plastic bag of cocaine and a bottle full of pills on him when he was stopped. The other man was not arrested, but is still a suspect.
School officials tell
that French has since requested a medical leave of absence and it has been accepted.
"Neall French is on a medical leave of absence from our baseball program for the balance of the season," said Ric Goodright, superintendent of Massillon City Schools.
French pleaded no contest to a traffic violation for the stop. Police say French has not been officially charged.
"I still don't know all the details and I am hoping and praying that most of it isn't true," said assistant coach Chad Wagler.
"Big disappointment. Great baseball program and great field. Not sure what these kids are going to do now," said former Tiger baseball player Derek Pape.
"That is one of his strong suits. He has a lot of connections in the baseball world and does a great job helping the kids get to the next level, if that's where they want to go," said Wagler.
French has yet to respond to our calls for comment.