According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, two baseball coaches at Plano East Senior High School ran a pretty horrifying shop. Details from an investigation conducted by Plano ISD officials were released to the Morning News and wooboy, they’re bad. Not only did two coaches allegedly racially insult their players, they also ignored injuries, belittled injured players, and possibly ignored a fight club.
From the report:
“It was as if it was just a game to the coaches to see who could dish out the funniest nickname or phrase to ridicule the hurt player,” one student said during the investigation. The coaches’ lawyer said they “vehemently deny” the allegations against them.
The investigation names the two coaches as head coach Travis Collins and his assistant Reagan Allen, who have been on administrative leave since August. The allegations against the two were reportedly brought by former baseball players and their parents, who Collins and Allen say are merely bitter about a lack of playing time. In addition to the direct abuse that the coaches reportedly subjected their players to, there is the matter of an annual fight club. It’s unclear if they knew about it, but its prominence casts that defense into doubt:
The fight clubs were staged in batting cages while the coaches were away for an annual conference. Collins and Allen said they were unaware of the fighting until parents asked about it.
But the investigation said attention to the fights was so widespread, the coaches should have known about them.
Collins and Allen allegedly also ignored likely concussions and kept hurt players in practices and games:
Collins did not follow concussion protocols after a player was hurt during a game. He allowed the student to return to practice and play without medical documentation clearing the teen to do so. Collins said the protocols weren’t followed because a trainer indicated the student didn’t appear to have suffered a concussion.
Allegations were made against the two coaches that they’d manipulated grades to allow underperforming students to play and had failed to provide water at practices, but those were not found to be true. The coaching staff does have the support of at least one current player:
Plano East senior Devin Gifford said that Collins and Allen cared about their players and that he never heard them make demeaning remarks.
“They criticized us when we made mistakes and praised us when we did well,” said Gifford, who has been on the team since he was a freshman. “They never pushed to make injured players play. I hurt my arm once and told coach [Collins] that it still hurt. He just told me to play when I felt ready.”
Another team parent has echoed Collins and Allen’s defense that those making accusations are simply mad about getting benched:
“It’s sad that this investigation was cleverly disguised as being about player safety concerns from those not happy with their position in the ... baseball program,” Anderson said. “I’m extremely disappointed in the lack of support from the district for these two longtime coaches and the one-sidedness of this investigation.”
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