Calif. Coach Sued for Belittling Players
Apr 3, 7:10 AM (ET)
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - When Michael Oddenino's teenage daughter complained that her softball coach was insulting her teammates, he took the dispute off the diamond and into a court.
Oddenino, an attorney, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court claiming coach Don Riggio inflicted emotional distress on a player when he called her "a 2-year-old" and frequently called other players idiots.
The suit sought $3 million for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, a civil rights violation, and sex discrimination.
But Superior Court Judge Jan Pluim dismissed the case, writing in her March 14 decision that there is nothing wrong with "a coach pushing an athlete to excel, and in so doing, using words that in another context would be considered rude, demeaning and even intimidating."
The suit had alleged that Riggio "took advantage of his position of authority to engage in an abusive pattern of excessive intimidation and humiliation of the female players, frequently calling them 'idiots,' and belittling them for minor errors."
Said Riggio: "I'm just glad it's over. Now we can move forward and do what we're there for, and that's to coach."