Former state champion River Rouge basketball coach grilled about sexual relationships in deposition

Mark White caught in lawsuit between Vito Jordan, Renaissance High School

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – A former state champion basketball coach at River Rouge High School is being grilled about alleged sexual relationships he had at the school during a deposition in the lawsuit between Vito Jordan and Renaissance High School.

Coach Mark White was at the top of his game when the River Rouge basketball team won the 2018 state championship. He was having success in the job he loves and earning $70,000 per year.

Months later, White's world was turned upside down. He was deposed about being offered the coaching job at rival Renaissance High School after the former coach, Vito Jordan, filed a lawsuit saying he was fired unfairly.

Jordan's attorney filed a motion to take White's deposition. White's attorney objected, but the judge allowed it, and now White is being asked embarrassing questions under oath.

"While employed as head basketball coach, did you have sex with any female employee at the River Rough School District?" White was asked.

At the advice of his lawyer, White refused to answer, saying the question has nothing to do with any coaching job.

White said he was simply considering a new basketball job and ended up in the middle of a controversy in an entirely unexpected court battle.

The questions kept coming, though, and they got tougher as Jordan's attorney asked about rumors of relations between White and students.

"While employed at River Rouge, were you accused of sex with an underage student?" White was asked.

"He is not going to answer that," White's attorney said.

Local 4 was told by White's attorney that none of the allegations are true. He said even asking the questions is inappropriate, but they keep coming.

Jordan is alleging Renaissance High School's new principal, Verynda Stroughter, fired Jordan so she could hire White.

White's attorney protested the allegation.

"I think this is just meant to harass, harangue and embarrass an individual who has come to this deposition," White's attorney said.

The plaintiff filed a new motion asking Judge Martha Snow to force White to answer the questions about personal interactions with students. White's attorney filed a response opposing the motion.

A decision is expected soon.

White declined to comment for this story.

Prosecutors said there will only be a criminal investigation if a victim goes to police with a formal complaint.

The attorney general's office confirmed Thursday that it has received a request to investigate and will make a determination over the next couple of weeks.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.