Perkins suspends coach for drug violation

Perkins High School’s wresting team will have to do without its coach for three of its matches in the 2012-13 season.
Tom Jackson
Oct 5, 2012

Travis Crabtree has been suspended for part of the season, after offering one of his wrestlers a prescription painkiller at a wrestling camp this past summer at Penn State University, school officials said.

While school officials said they could not ignore the coach’s actions, they also said incident was uncharacteristic of Crabtree.

He has earned an excellent reputation while serving for years as the school’s wresting coach, and as a physical education and health teacher at Perkins High, district officials said.  

Crabtree did not return a phone message seeking comment.

According to a letter of reprimand athletic director Michael Strohl placed in Crabtree’s file, one of the school’s wrestlers complained about being in pain because of a previous injury.

Crabtree responded by offering a prescription painkiller, which the student accepted but ultimately did not consume, the letter states.

The student’s parent and Crabtree both reported the incident.

Strohl commended Crabtree for being honest, but he also wrote that he could not ignore the incident. Strohl suspended him for three points, which is about 15 percent of the season, or apparently three matches.

Crabtree will not be permitted to attend the matches.

Any future incident compromising a student athlete’s safety will be handled by additional discipline, up to and including being fired as coach, Strohl wrote.

“This recent incident is uncharacteristic of Coach Crabtree,” Strohl added. “I believe Coach Crabtree cares for his athletes and holds his position as head wrestling coach in high regard.”

Strohl made the decision to discipline the coach, and he did not take the matter to the superintendent or the board, superintendent Jim Gunner said.

“The athletic director makes that decision,” Gunner said. “He is the primary person responsible for supervising coaches.”

Gunner said Crabtree has the right to appeal the decision to the superintendent, although he has not yet heard from the coach.

“My information is he’s accepted the consequences and will not appeal,” Gunner said.



That is interesting. Sounds like the sanctions were mild. Not reporting this to the superintendent as Gunner stated in the article appears to be shady. Gunner's legal duty is now to report that to the ODE. It falls under the code of professional conduct for teachers as required by the ODE. Wonder if that will happen.."good ole boys club."


I am sure Mr. Crabtree is glad that he is not a school bus driver for perkins. Glad to hear the caste system is alive and well!

Freedom Writer

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).




And the painkiller? None other than the evil motrin. He should have just told the kid to go take 4 over the counter motrin and then he wouldn't have been in any trouble.

Phil Packer

Should have told him to suck it up and stop complaining.


Whow, ok. Sandusky bball coach doesn't get job because he's found not quilty to dui charge but Perkins coach knowingly gives student pain pills. smh.


..... "which the student accepted but ultimately did not consume, the letter states."

Smcc Student

This was a big mistake on his part and to see some people arguing to defend him is pathetic. Last time I checked Crabtree wasn't a doctor. How does he know if the kid(s) he was giving these pills to wouldn't hurt them?


My name is Marty Ross and when I am lucky I get to coach in the weightroom as a volunteer at PHS. I know Coach Crabtree and also know the "painkiller" was ibuprofen. Coach Crabtree is an upstanding guy and is looked up to by both Coaches and kids. He cares deeply for those kids and continues to be a mentor even after their graduation. My nephew included. We all wish this had not happened but do not see this incident tarnishing our Coach's reputation. Thank you for listening.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Ibuprofen is not an M&M. If he had given me an ibuprofen and I had taken it I would have probably been dead by the time paramedics arrived. And I will add that my allergy to it didn't come about until I was in my thirties, so it can happen at any time.


For the record, Knuckle Dragger, it was NOT Motrin that was given. It was the prescription NARCOTIC Ultram. Dispersing NARCOTICS to anyone other than the person it is prescribed for is a FELONY. Not only that, Crabtree was completely unaware if this kid was on any other medication for his injury that could have interacted with the Ultram. He could have been allergic to it. It certainly could have masked the pain of a more serious issue stemming from his previous injury. This incident is NOT the only complaint filed against Crabtree. And to commend him for stepping up and telling on himself to his friend the AD....please!!! He did that to save his a$$ from being reported to the paper and police!! So, get your FACTS straight before typing your opinion.


While we are getting our facts straight, gbi, maybe you should as well. I am a registered pharmacist and Ultram is NOT a narcotic pain medication. It is not controlled or scheduled in ANY way, whatsoever. While this does not condone, in any way, the horrific lack of judgement on Travis' part, I could not sit by and allow you to spew forth such ignorant venom.


I agree MattRPH...Ultram is NOT a Narcotic...well said.


All definitions of Tramadol state clearly that it is narcotic like and just as habit forming as any painkiller. Ignorant venom? There's ignorance.


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Gunner should be held accountable. Gunner should resign.


The coach was wrong. He should have directed the kid to go to his parents for a painkiller. The coaches intentions were good but inappropriate. I am familiar with all three drugs mentioned and they really are not that dangerous BUT the coach was wrong anyway you look at it.


OK, can we please get rid of Gunner now? Please?


Not to mention Gunner admitted to the childs family his staff dropped the ball on the bullying but he still had to uphold the suspension! I used to hold high respect for Perkins but the disappointments keep adding up!



If you think you have problems with this wait until they start building the new Perkins Academy. This new 7-12 grade school will be located next to the football field. Check out the school propaganda across from the concession inside on the fence. It says "Coming Soon".

Like most government entities no discussion with the taxpayers. Just spend your money and not worry about how to pay it. Mr. Gunner does not live in the district so he is not encumbered by the new taxes for this facility.

This should raise your blood pressure and make you mad as heck.


I wonder if the student about whom the other student complained was a wrestler?


You do not give a NARCOTIC anything to anyone unless you want to be held accountable to the FEDS. Unless I miss my GUESS on this one that is kindred in THIS state anymore to drug trafficking. He best hope the State Attorney General does't get wind of this and come swooping in and arrest him. This is exactly the type of thing the AG is looking for.

Ultram is a dangerous narcotic for anyone let alone to give to a Freshman. That kid should have been turned over to his parents and let him be taken to a doctor is he was feeling that badly, not given something by a COACH. Three days suspension isn't nearly enough. And where did the good coach get this narcotic? Is this the first time he has done this?

Seen it All

Well, the drug dealers on the streets only get a slap on the wrist... can't expect much more for a unqualified coach for dispensing pain killers to an athlete, I suppose. I do know the school nurse called me before giving my child a tylenol; with her medical records in front of her. So, I am really baffled as to why this coach thinks it is OK to give a prescription pain killer to his student, even further more baffled by the lack of seriousness given to this incident by school officials.


Wasn't there a family that filed a law suit against Perkins schools because their sons were bullied? What's happening with that? Hasn't the school district learned they can't ignore or tolerate bullying?


Im not sure whats going on with that but if my child reports being bullied again and nothing is done about it ill be the next to contact an attorney, 2 years ago there was an incident that occured with my friends son where he had forgotten his lunch money, cafeteria lady made him call home and on the voicemail you heard the lady making fun of him for stuttering, his mother went to the superintendent after getting nowhere with the principal and it too was swept under the rug, Perkins needs a superintendent that cares about our kids


Someone is lying; Marty says it was ibuprofen and gbi says it was a narcotic. BIG difference. Or were both offered??


Well, judgejudy, Crabtree was stupid enough to say everything while the kids dad was recording a match. He CLEARLY states ULTRAM. video evidence DOESN'T LIE. so I will place my vote on Marty Ross either being misinformed or just plain lying!!


Why can't the SR find out the exact medication? I tend to think it was a narcotic because if it weren't the school district would have released that information.