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PLANO (CBS11) – Current and former baseball players at Plano East High School have come to defense of their former coaches after reports of misconduct make national news.
Several players called the accusations that led Plano ISD to place two long-time coaches on administrative leave “ridiculous.”
Former Plano East head baseball coach Travis Collins and assistant coach Reagan Allen were placed on leave back in August, according to the district.
Complaints from player parents led the district to investigation allegations that the two coaches used racial slurs towards players and belittled players who were injured, according to published reports.
“It’s all ridiculous,” said Devin Gifford, a senior Plano East baseball player. “I’ve been out there for four years, since I was a freshman, and I’ve never heard anything that came out of their mouths in terms of those accusations.”
Fellow teammate and senior Brad Anderson said the accusation are coming from four or five players and their parents.
“Some students and parents of players on the team were disappointed with playing time, their lack of it,” he explained. “Our coaches had good intentions for us. They would coach us. It was constructive criticism. Some players might have taken that the wrong way.”
According to published reports, the investigation by the school district also includes looking into a “fight club” the players had in the batting cages.
Players told CBS 11 News the “fight club” was an annual tradition organized by seniors on the team on the day the coaches were away at a conference.
The players said the seniors would bring boxing gloves and they would fight each other in the batting cages. However, the players said no one was forced or pressured to participate.
While mentions of the “fight club” were made on social media, several players said they did not believe the coaches knew about the tradition.
A district statement says neither coach is still associated with the baseball program.
Collins has been with the district since 2002. Allen has been with Plano ISD since 2003.
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