Hoover Athletics Under Investigation

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - The city school superintendent is investigating concerns about football and other sports at prep powerhouse Hoover High School.

But the principal said Wednesday the allegations are based on rumors.

Superintendent Andy Craig tells The Birmingham News that Jerry Browning, Hoover's athletics director for three years, came to him with concerns about the school's athletic programs before he resigned to take over as athletics director at Saint James School in Montgomery.

Craig said he is investigating but declined to elaborate.

Principal Richard Bishop said Browning went to the superintendent after speaking with him about issues including player eligibility and grades.

Bishop said a school review found that everything Browning mentioned were - quote - "unfounded rumors."

Browning, who has not elaborated publicly on his reasons for leaving Hoover, said he first raised concerns in a meeting with Craig on April 19th.

Steve Savarese, the incoming executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, said he is unaware of the Hoover investigation.

Hoover won five of the last six Class 6-A football championships, and the school was featured for two seasons on the MTV show "Two-A-Days."

The school has been at odds with the state athletic association over the board's refusal to let it play a football game in Ohio on a Sunday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)