It took nearly two years for a report of sexual abuse against former NBA star Mike Bibby to reach police.
But a restraining order filed in Phoenix court last week by a Shadow Mountain High School teacher indicates several witnesses and school officials may have known of the alleged misconduct much earlier.
“The administration was advised of this nearly two years ago,” Tom Ryan, the teacher’s attorney, said. He would not say who reported the incident but said it was not his client, who is still employed with the district.
The teacher claims in the restraining order that in February 2017 Bibby, who volunteered as the school’s varsity boys basketball coach, lifted her by the waist and pulled her into his car on school grounds, rubbing his genitals against her and groping her.
A district spokeswoman this week confirmed a police investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Bibby. Bibby has since been removed from coaching Shadow Mountain basketball pending the outcome of the investigation.
The removal came just days after he coached the team to its fourth state championship title in four years.
Becky Kelbaugh, a spokeswoman with the Paradise Valley Unified School District, said the district initially began an internal investigation on the claims on Feb. 11 after officials received information about the sexual abuse allegation from a third party.
The incident was first formally reported to the district by one of the teacher’s colleagues, according to the restraining order. The teacher then filed a police report and was interviewed by a school resource officer.
In the order, the teacher claims school staff and at least one administrator knew about the incident shortly after it happened in 2017. The teacher in the order alleges she and Bibby discussed whether she would report it a few days after it happened.
The document names a constellation of eyewitnesses and school officials who may have known shortly after the alleged incident two years ago.
Who knew about Bibby claims?
The order names Mike Warren among those who knew in 2017. At the time of the incident, he was Shadow Mountain’s attendance dean, but also once served as athletic director, according to Kelbaugh.
He stopped working for the district in 2017, but still served as an assistant coach under Bibby as recently as last year.
A few days after Bibby grabbed her, the teacher alleges in the order, the coach stood outside her classroom door looking nervous.
She told Bibby, “We need to talk” and they sat her classroom, door closed. She wrote she felt comfortable enough to close the door because the colleague she had told was across the hall.
The teacher told Bibby, according to the restraining order, that he was “out of line” and that he had sexually abused her. She alleges in the order that he told her he had been drinking that day and that she was a “beautiful and nice person,” according to the document. She said he told her he wanted to date her.
She said in the order that she wasn’t interested and told him to stay away. He asked her if she was going to “tell” and she said no because she was thinking of his players, according to the restraining order. He then asked if she would inform Warren, who was sitting outside in Bibby’s car, that she wasn’t going to report.
“I told Warren I would not say anything,” she wrote in the order. “He gave a fist pump and they left.”
Warren told The Arizona Republic he did not know anything about the reported incident.
“I never heard about it,” he said. “I never knew anything about it. I honestly really don’t understand it… It doesn’t make sense to me.”
The order also names several witnesses: fellow teachers she told in the days after and colleagues she said were there on that day and saw Bibby grab her.
District guidelines mandate that staff “are to report any suspected crime against a person or property that is a serious offense. … All such reports shall be communicated to the Superintendent who shall be responsible for reporting to local law enforcement.”
Why did Bibby’s suspension take two weeks?
The district began an internal investigation immediately after a third party reported it on Feb. 11 of this year, according to Kelbaugh.
A few days later, the internal investigation was suspended at the request of the Phoenix Police Department, which had opened its own investigation.The department has not named any suspects and the agency is still investigating.
It’s still unclear, however, why district officials waited two weeks, until after Bibby’s team won a state championship title, to bar him from coaching.
Bibby was a volunteer coach for Shadow Mountain.
Kelbaugh wrote in an email that the district notified Bibby he was ineligible from volunteering after it received a copy of the restraining order.
Because Bibby was a volunteer and not certified with the state to teach in any capacity, he will not be investigated by the State Board of Education for misconduct claims, Alicia Williams, the board’s executive director, said.