Nov 17, 2014
Basketball coach files $1M libel suit against parent

It’s no secret that parents occasionally cause problems for coaches, but one coach of a California high school basketball team has decided to fight back.

Rob Bloom, who leads the boys team at Westlake High School, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the parent of one of his players. According to court documents obtained by the Ventura County Star, the parent spent “hours investigating Bloom in an attempt to discredit” him. Clark also circulated emails accusing Bloom of personally and willfully violating child labor laws.

From the article:

James P. Thompson, Bloom’s attorney, said the coach “had enough” after years of “constant nagging” and tarnishing of his reputation. Bloom is seeking no less than $250, 000 for general damages, $250, 000 for special damages and $500, 000 for punitive and exemplary damages.

“This was the tip of the spear of helicopter parenting, Thompson said. There is a vast difference between thinking a coach is doing something wrong and calling a coach a crook and child abuser. It’s egregious. (The parent James Clark) was asked to stop, and he wouldn’t, so this is the result.”

Clark maintained he does not have a personal vendetta against the coach.

“When I read (the lawsuit), it basically said there was this loser kid and his father who wanted to get back at someone who didn’t want to play him because the son didn’t have any talent, Clark said. That was never the issue at all.”

The article doesn’t specify, but it sounds like the kid no longer plays for the team. The parent at one point accused the coach of setting up fake nonprofit camps to pull a profit while “luring incoming athletes to illegally underpaid camp counselor positions, the article stated.

This should be an interesting case, assuming to suit moves forward. I’ve personally heard stories similar to this from a number of coaches, so it could shed some light on what recourse coaches have if a parent goes too far. And how far is too far?

Do you have stories of parents going beyond angry emails or outbursts in attempt to get you fired or discredit your performance? Don’t hesitate to let us know about it in the comments section below, or send an email to [email protected] It could help us for an upcoming story in our magazine.

Basketball coach files $1M libel suit against parent

Sharing Block: Winning Hoops Sharing Block

By Kevin Hoffman, Managing Editor

It’s no secret that parents occasionally cause problems for coaches, but one coach of a California high school basketball team has decided to fight back.

Rob Bloom, who leads the boys team at Westlake High School, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the parent of one of his players. According to court documents obtained by the Ventura County Star, the parent spent “hours investigating Bloom in an attempt to discredit” him. Clark also circulated emails accusing Bloom of personally and willfully violating child labor laws.

From the article :

James P. Thompson, Bloom’s attorney, said the coach “had enough” after years of “constant nagging” and tarnishing of his reputation. Bloom is seeking no less than $250, 000 for general damages, $250, 000 for special damages and $500, 000 for punitive and exemplary damages.

“This was the tip of the spear of helicopter parenting, Thompson said. There is a vast difference between thinking a coach is doing something wrong and calling a coach a crook and child abuser. It’s egregious. (The parent James Clark) was asked to stop, and he wouldn’t, so this is the result.”

Clark maintained he does not have a personal vendetta against the coach.

“When I read (the lawsuit), it basically said there was this loser kid and his father who wanted to get back at someone who didn’t want to play him because the son didn’t have any talent, Clark said. That was never the issue at all.”

The article doesn’t specify, but it sounds like the kid no longer plays for the team. The parent at one point accused the coach of setting up fake nonprofit camps to pull a profit while “luring incoming athletes to illegally underpaid camp counselor positions, ” the article stated.

This should be an interesting case, assuming to suit moves forward. I’ve personally heard stories similar to this from a number of coaches, so it could shed some light on what recourse coaches have if a parent goes too far. And how far is too far ?

Do you have stories of parents going beyond angry emails or outbursts in attempt to get you fired or discredit your performance? Don’t hesitate to let us know about it in the comments section below, or send an email to [email protected] It could help us for an upcoming story in our magazine.






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