Jan 19, 2018
Ohio high school coaches suing parents for libel, slander

A group of high school basketball coaches in northern Ohio are suing four parents who they say are spreading lies about the way they run the program.

The four members of the Maumee Valley Country Day School boys basketball varsity coaching staff wanted to wait until after the season to take action, but they said the situation has reached a boiling point. The coaches’ attorney, Bob Bahret, told WTVG in Toledo a mass email was anonymously sent by some of the parents, alleging staff misconduct and “questionable backgrounds” of adults connected to the program.

From WTVG:

“It all started over playing time. This is your classic parents being disgruntled because Johnny isn’t playing more minutes,” said Bahret.

The school hired a private investigators to look into the allegations. She found in part: “Most of the complaints lodged in the anonymous e-mail were not substantiated.” The investigator said: “I did not find that coaches harassed or bullied players or employed a ‘win at all costs’ philosophy.”

But there were areas that needed to be corrected according to the investigator — pupil activity permits were not in place at the beginning of the 2016-17 season; parents did not understand the roles of the different coaches; and “too many voices in the gym.”

Coaches believe the rumors have prevented them from holding offseason camps. So Bahret said the parents are not only hurting the coaches’ reputations, but now their pocket books.

The coaches seek at least $25,000 in damages.

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