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Coach Who Ran Business From Office Quits

April 20, 2005

CANYON, Texas (AP) _ West Texas A&M football coach Ronnie Jones resigned Tuesday after a university investigation found he was operating a marketing business from his school office.

Athletic director Ed Harris said in a statement that Jones used state and school resources for personal gain, ``taking advantage of West Texas A&M property, facilities, funds, information technology resources, equipment, supplies, services and employee time.″

Jones did not attend a news conference announcing his resignation. No one answered Tuesday evening at an Amarillo telephone number for Jones, a former NFL assistant who was suspended with pay last week.

Harris said Jones, who compiled a 5-27 record in three seasons with the Division II school, abused his authority, exerting undue influence on student-athletes and employees by soliciting memberships in his marketing venture.

Harris also said Jones violated policy by using university computer equipment to access and download ``unethical and inappropriate materials.″ He did not elaborate.

Assistant coach Lee Hays was named interim head coach.

The Buffaloes were 2-8 last season.

Jones, a native of Sunray in the Texas Panhandle, was hired by West Texas A&M after one season with Ottawa University in Kansas. He was 6-4 with the NAIA school.

He was special teams coach with the Buffalo Bills for two years, and has also had stints with the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams.

Jones was defensive coordinator at Texas-El Paso from 1996-1999.

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