Reporting Nick Janes
ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Parents are coming to the defense of an Elk Grove High basketball coach after a mom files several complaints claiming verbal assault against her daughter.
We caught up with coach Eric Nakagawa today. He wouldn’t talk on camera, but told us, “If you follow this story all the way to the end, you’ll find that my character speaks for itself.”
You’ve heard the phrase there are two sides to every story. Parents and players say they’re setting the record straight for Nakagawa.
“I think he’s extremely dedicated—I think he’ll do whatever it takes to make these girls better,” said Tom Alston, whose daughter plays on the team.
This is the polar opposite of what parent Peggy Allen told us.
“He’s disgusting. He’s very much of a creep,” she said.
She wants Nakagawa fired for making crude comments. Elk Grove Unified School District investigated and sent Peggy a letter confirming two incidents.
In the first, the coach said, “Pick up you p—- and put it back in your pocket.”
Then, when a player saw a box of condoms in his car, he said, “At least you know your coach is a pimp.”
Players doubt it ever happened. Alston takes it a step further. He believes Peggy has launched a smear campaign.
“People need to understand who Peggy Gates is,” he said, “Once you understand that, you’ll understand that this is all hooey.”
Crystal Williams, another parent with two players on the team, calls Nakagawa a good guy. She’s completely comfortable putting her daughters in his care, even if the vulgar comments were made.
“There’s always a possibility some immature, glib comments may have been made. I don’t think there was any sexual intention.”
The district says the remarks were inappropriate and not condoned, but their investigation found neither remark rose to the legal definition of sexual harassment. Nakagawa remains the coach of the team.
In a statement, the district said it’s taken appropriate action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.