SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — In March, University of San Francisco baseball head coach Nino Giarratano was fired for alleged misconduct, KRON4 reported. The university said a lawsuit was filed that month related to Giarratano’s and former associate head coach Troy Nakamura’s behavior.
Nine more former USF baseball players joined the lawsuit filed on Friday against the two former coaches, the university, and the NCAA, the plaintiff’s attorneys announced in a press release. Those nine played baseball under Girratano and Nakamura, dating back to the beginning of their tenure over 20 years ago.
Court documents sent to KRON4 from the plaintiff’s lawyers show a total of 12 former players filed a lawsuit against the mentioned parties. None of the players were identified by name.
The plaintiffs allege Girratano and Nakamura created an “intolerable sexualized environment” for over 22 years since the former was hired in 1999. The original complaint was filed on March 11.
The lawsuit alleges USF knew about the misconduct and chose not to address it, and the NCAA has “inadequate” policies to protect student-athletes from such behavior. The allegations add that the NCAA doesn’t prevent coaches who’ve committed such actions from moving on to another school without punishment.
In over 140 pages, the lawsuit details a number of alleged actions of sexual misconduct committed by the coaches. The plaintiffs said the coaches normalized a sexualized culture, including an incident in which Nakamura was naked on the practice field “swinging his penis in a circular motion imitating a helicopter rotor” while the entire team, including Girratano, watched.
Another accusation states the coaches would give the players sex dolls or sex toys as “awards.” The lawsuit also says that coaches would discuss with the players their “sexual preferences, sexual fantasies, and the bodily fluids they would like to drink with the plaintiffs and other members of the USF baseball team.”
USF announced on Jan. 13 Nakamura was removed from the baseball staff due to “inappropriate” behavior by the coaches, according to the lawsuit. However, Giarratano, the head coach, was able to keep his job.
The plaintiffs complained the university did not do enough to address the allegations. It wasn’t until March 13 when USF fired Giarratano but only because three plaintiffs filed their original complaint two days earlier, court documents say. Page 6 of the lawsuit said the university took steps to cover up a number of wrongdoings by the coaches throughout the years.
USF is aware of the lawsuit and sent a statement to KRON4:
“The University of San Francisco is aware of the recent amended complaint and the additional (plaintiffs) who have joined the class action lawsuit. As we stated in March when the lawsuit was originally filed, the allegations involving the university’s previous baseball coaches are extremely concerning and are in direct opposition to USF’s core values,” the statement read. “We condemn the abusive and degrading behavior described in the lawsuit. We are committed to our current and former student athletes, and we are committed to determining the facts in the case.”
The plaintiffs added they are seeking financial damages against the three parties for the psychological abuses and inappropriate sexual conduct they suffered. They want compensation for loss of guaranteed scholarship money, expenses for medical and psychological treatment, and impairment of their baseball careers, including the opportunity to play Major League Baseball.
“Our investigation has revealed that the coaches would routinely berate players with profanity-laced, sexualized screeds intended to humiliate and intimidate them, often in front of other players or fans. The intent was clear, to get the kids to quit, freeing up scholarships the coaches could dangle in front of other prospects, and the data supports this conclusion.”Elizabeth Fegan, one of the attorneys representing the former players
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Following the departure of Nakamura and Giarratano, the Dons finished 28-29 during the 2022 season with Mat Keplinger as interim head coach.