USF baseball coaches created ‘intolerable sexualized’ environment for student-athletes and proposed class action lawsuits

Three University of San Francisco baseball players claim the university tried to cover up the inappropriate sexual conduct of two of its baseball coaches, who allegedly expelled student-athletes from the team for complaining about a “intolerable sexualized environment” with school officials.

A 116-page complaint Friday against USF and the National Collegiate Athletic Association claims head coach Nino Giarratano and assistant coach Troy Nakamura have normalized sexual misconduct and emotional abuse for more than two decades.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and FeganScott represent NCAA Division I Student-Athletes Anonymous, who say abuse has caused several players to become suicidal.

The proposed class action brought by Law.com Radaralleges that Nakamura would mimic sexual acts with players and get “naked on the field or in a window, swinging his penis like a helicopter as the whole team – and Coach G – watched.”

“The accused coaches created a culture where it was perfectly ‘normal’ for coaches to discuss their sexual preferences, the sexual acts they would like to engage in, and the bodily fluids they would like to drink with the complainants and other members. of the USF baseball team,” the complaint states.

Baseball players claim that coaches “berated, belittled and belittled” students who did not tolerate or participate in the sexualized atmosphere. The lawsuit claims they threatened to revoke playing time and scholarships, told students to quit college, and “tricked them into signing forms to make it look like their scholarship revocation was voluntary, when it was not.” The lawsuit also alleges that the highest levels of the university’s athletic department received complaints about coaches’ conduct and “USF chose to support Coach G’s decisions to drive student-athletes out of school.” ‘baseball team’.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the suit alleges 24 causes of action, including Title IX and negligence claims. In addition to damages from the NCAA, USF and coaches, he seeks a court order requiring the NCAA to implement and enforce rules considered best practices, such as banning and reporting. sexual harassment of student-athletes by staff. It also asks the court to require complaints to be independently investigated and rules requiring public sanctions against member institutions and staff who engage in misconduct.

“Without NCAA reporting requirements, colleges and universities can overlook coach misconduct,” according to the complaint. “Even if a school takes action, the NCAA allows the abuser to move to another college or university, thereby granting them access to a new population of student-athletes who are unaware of these allegations. and who are prepared to place complete trust in the aggressor.. Instead of a system that protects the welfare of student-athletes, the NCAA therefore oversees one that prioritizes the protection of athletic income, alumni donations and tuition fees at the expense of student-athletes.

A USF representative said in an email that the school is aware of the litigation and found the charges extremely concerning and in direct opposition to its core values. “We condemn the abusive and degrading behavior described in the lawsuit,” the rep said in a statement. “We are committed to our current and former student athletes, and we are committed to determining the facts of the case.”

A representative for the NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Beth Fegan, founder of FeganScott, said in an email that it was not fair that it took a group of very brave student-athletes to step up and tell their story to make their lives safer.

“When will the NCAA put in place proper oversight so students don’t have to be the ones on the front lines?” she says.


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