WEATHERFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – After nearly 20 years as a head basketball coach at Weatherford College, Mark Osina was celebrated this year for his 400th win.
But with the season over, he is also facing accusations of violating student privacy, making comments perceived as racist, and others seen as threats, toward a player.
“I walk in to say good morning to everybody, I say good morning and he was like, ‘Ah I was hoping your plane crashed’,” said Naim Rabay, a sophomore on the team.
Rabay, from Lebanon, said the comment made over a year ago about a plane crash was meant as a joke, but no one took it that way. He said nothing at the time, admitting he never had a great relationship with the coach, and he was concerned about his spot on the team.
However, last fall a student reported Osina posted his falling grades on a locker for others to see. Life Sciences chair Dr. Lisa Welch said it happened around mid-term and she helped the player report the concern to the college.
Another student reported hearing Osina say he recruited players from outside the Houston jail.
Osina’s attorney said Monday the coach was out of town with family, but said he loves his players, fights for them, and strong denies the allegations made.
Interim college president Brent Baker would not speak to specifics regarding what he called a personnel matter, but said the school is investigating the situation. The well-being of students is taken seriously, Baker said, and they demand all employees treat students with respect.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, and how long you’ve been somewhere, you still have an order to serve these students in a way with dignity, and integrity,” said John Turntine, who works in student services at the college.
Turntine said he helped some of the players report the instances to the school, but said no one from the school had contacted him about the reports until the investigation was reported by the Weatherford Democrat last week. That’s one of the reasons Nabay said he was willing to speak up now.
“There shouldn’t be a reason for somebody else to come next year or the year after and think it’s ok to happen,” Nabay said. “Nobody should be treated like that again.