State warns Central Kentucky football coach not to work on a side business at school

Madison County (KY) Schools Facebook page

A Kentucky education investigative agency has warned Madison Southern Football Coach Jon Clark to refrain from using school property to promote a personal or commercial business , according to a March 21 report.

Clark, who has been a physical education teacher and football coach at Madison Southern High School at Berea since 2011, is required to get three hours training on Madison County school board policy by June 1, said a final investigative report from the Office of Education Accountability. The Herald-Leader obtained the report under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

“Jon Clark is to refrain from further use of Madison County School District facilities and property for personal and commercial use, including meeting on school district grounds and using school district facilities in commercial advertising,” the report said.

Clark did not immediately comment about the findings. School district spokeswoman Erin Stewart said Monday that the district would expect Coach Clark or any employee to comply with recommendations from the OEA.

“I’m certain that we will be following up with the principal of Madison Southern to make sure that that has happened,” Stewart said.

The OEA had received a complaint that Clark used school facilities to promote his personal business.

But the report said Clark denied that he has used school facilities to further his business, which is selling AdvoCare products. AdvoCare is a health and wellness multi-level marketing company that sells items such as supplements, shakes, and pills, the report said. It said Clark additionally told investigators that he owns a company which provides AdvoCare products, as well as meal plans, exercise plans and general nutrition guidance.

Clark holds a Master’s degree in Recreation and Sport Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Sciences, according to the report. He told investigators that he held one informational meeting which he called a nutrition workshop on school grounds. He said that about 20 people attended free of charge and that no products were sold or distributed at the meeting, which investigators confirmed through interviews.

Clark told investigators that he advises students on supplements and makes students written meal plans on what they should eat to attain their individual goals.

According to the report, he said that whenever students ask him about AdvoCare, he tells them that he has to talk to their parents. He said that he does not sell products directly to any students. The report said Clark held some meetings at school and others at his home.

On his business Facebook page, the report said, “there were two photos of Clark and his wife using the high school football field and the high school weightlifting facility for their personal use.”

Those photos were posted in 2016, the report said. Last week, the Facebook page appeared to have been removed.

The report said the Madison County school district had policies to ensure that school facilities and property are not used for personal and commercial purposes. Among them is a policy saying district facilities and materials can’t be used for outside work.

Given that Clark is a certified physical education teacher with extensive background in sport sciences, the report said, it appears that he is qualified to advise students regarding their health.

But the report said while Clark did not make actual sales of AdvoCare products on school property, “he has not taken sufficient care” to comply with board policies and handbook requirements.