Gay Ohio high school basketball player sues school officials for harassment

Photo: Google Earth

Gay Ohio high school basketball player sues school officials for harassment

Boys Basketball

Gay Ohio high school basketball player sues school officials for harassment


A high school basketball player in Ohio went from being lauded as a future college athlete to being denied a varsity letter. According to the teen’s family, the reason his basketball status suffered was because he had been identified as homosexual.

As reported by the Columbus Dispatch, among other sources, a Fairless (Ohio) High School basketball player — whose identity is currently being shielded — claims that now-former Fairless basketball coach and athletic director Kevin Bille repeatedly harassed and discriminated against the teen in question after he discovered he was gay.

Bille is just one of the defendants in the teen’s federal discrimination lawsuit, which seeks unspecified financial restitution for the emotional and psychological damage suffered at the hands of Bille and others at the school.

The list of discriminatory claims in the case is astonishing and goes far beyond basketball; the teen was also unable to attend the senior class trip to New York he helped plan because the school refused to help find another male student to room with him. Still, the actions alleged of Bille, if true, are perhaps most heinous.

Here’s more on Bille’s involvement from the Dispatch:

According to the lawsuit, the coach:

  • Significantly reduced the teen’s playing time and told him he was worried students from the student section would learn he is gay and start yelling.

  • Singled out the teen by giving him punitive workouts.

  • Told the teen during team prayers he didn’t have to pray because he knew the teen “hates Jesus.”

  • Called the teen weak and required the teen to feel the coach’s arm muscles.

  • Failed to introduce at least one prospective college recruiter to the teen even though the recruiter had expressed interest.

  • Gave the teen a “certificate of participation” instead of a varsity letter even though a team manager who had played zero minutes of basketball during the season received a varsity letter.

That’s pretty much the definition of harassment, and a series of quotes which won’t quickly or easily go away for Bille. Perhaps in advance of the lawsuit, or because of the activity that preceded it, Bille was let go.


More USA TODAY High School Sports