Hoopster Says JC Hoops Coach Harassed Her
SHERMAN, Texas (CN) - Paris Junior College made excuses for a women's basketball coach who sent a photo of his penis to a player's mother and threatened to take away another student's scholarship for rejecting him, the second woman claims in court.
Ebonee Tate sued Paris Junior College of Paris, Texas, its former basketball coach Sean LeBeauf and its president Pam Anglin, in Federal Court.
Tate says PJC gave her a full-ride basketball scholarship in 2011.
"During her first semester at PJC, Tate earned a starting position on the basketball team and became one of its leading scorers early in the season," the complaint states.
Tate says she was happy with the team and the school until coach LeBeauf started coming on to her. LeBeauf also was the school's athletic director.
"Coach LeBeauf saw Tate at a school-sponsored event and began to make romantic gestures toward her, including 'blowing her a kiss' across the gym," the complaint states. "Tate ignored him. However, Tate's refusal to engage Coach LeBeauf did not deter his efforts. In March 2012, Coach LeBeauf started sending Tate suggestive text messages with unsolicited and unwanted sex-specific language such as the following:
"'Love you Ebonee';
"'U need to lose 10 lbs ... U need to lose weight ... Ur sexy at 164, but u would be even sexier at 155';
"'I want you to dress up for me.'"
Tate claims LeBeauf's behavior concerned her, as he was known at school as a horn dog.
"It was common knowledge that Coach LeBeauf had been known to regularly engage in inappropriate sexual contact with the players on PJC's women's basketball team, both past and present," the complaint states. "In 2011, another basketball player admitted to her teammates that Coach LeBeauf sent her similarly suggestive text messages and kissed her after luring her into his office one evening. Another teammate left the team in 2011 after Coach LeBeauf became inappropriate with her and even sent her mother a picture of his genitals. At least one player admitted to having a sexual affair with Coach LeBeauf in 2010."
Tate claims that when LeBeauf realized she was not interested he called her mom to complain about her, cut her playing time and threatened to replace her as a starter.
Fed up, Tate says, she complained about LeBeauf to school president Pam Anglin.
"Dr. Anglin told Tate she knew Coach LeBeauf might have sent her some inappropriate messages but she should not be concerned," the complaint states. "Although Tate told Dr. Anglin she was aware of his past with PJC players and his interaction with her made her fearful and uncomfortable, Dr. Anglin told her not to worry. Dr. Anglin assured Tate that Coach LeBeauf was not a threat and, as in her own experience, sometimes men will flirt and harass you in the 'real world' and that Tate should learn to deal with it."
Tate says LeBeauf's harassment increased, that he "threatened to take away her scholarship, and even refused to allow the school to pay for injuries she sustained in a basketball game earlier that semester."
She says the ordeal forced her to leave the school.
Tate seeks punitive damages for Title IX violations, sexual harassment and retaliation.
She is represented by Nellie Hooper with Blanscet Hooper & Hale of Addison.
LeBeauf resigned from PJC in May to take an assistant coach job with the University of Arizona women's basketball team, according to a May 9 statement on the National Junior College Athletic Association website.