PHOENIX — As police investigate sexual abuse and harassment accusations against former NBA player and Shadow Mountain High School boys basketball coach Mike Bibby, emails and texts among staff at the Paradise Valley Unified School District provide insight on how school officials handled the case.
Police have not charged Bibby, but documents show they have been investigating him since mid-February.
According to an injunction against harassment, a Shadow Mountain teacher says Bibby groped and rubbed his genitals on her in a 2017 incident.
The attorney representing the woman claiming she was sexually assaulted says the school knew about the investigation nearly two weeks before the state championship game.
Paradise Valley School District Superintendent James Lee told 12 News in a statement Friday that the district did not have first-hand information about the alleged sexual assault until after the game:
"We did not receive first-hand information until Monday, Feb. 25th after the championship game. We would never put allowing a coach to coach in a state championship over doing the right thing. The Phoenix Police Department directed the district not to disclose that they were conducting an investigation about the coach."
Emails from Feb. 11 show Shadow Mountain’s principal was in contact with two school employees, who told nearly identical stories about sexual assault allegations against Mike Bibby from a Shadow Mountain teacher.
One person, who indicated he or she had known about it for some time, wrote to the principal, “Basically she said he accosted her. She called him some choice names. Said he was intoxicated. She fought him off.”
Another person told him, “…he grabbed her into the car. She stated she was in a skirt at the time and he proceeded to grope her.”
The Paradise Valley School District told 12 News Friday the district did not receive a complaint from the teacher herself until a copy of the injunction against harassment was delivered on Feb. 25.
"Prior to Feb. 25, school and district administrators unequivocally had no first-hand knowledge and were not informed of the alleged incident in 2017," the district said.
PVSD said a meeting was set with the teacher who made the accusations on Feb. 13, but she canceled it.
The district said a later meeting scheduled with the teacher and the school resource officer on Feb. 14 was canceled by the officer.
By that time, the Phoenix Police Department had opened its investigation and directed the district to suspend its internal investigation until police could complete theirs, the district said.
On Friday, Feb. 22, the teacher who accused Bibby of groping her filed a restraining order against Bibby. That same day, district employees sent texts referring to the teacher’s allegations.
“WTH – [the teacher] is out on Monday?”
“Yikes. Oh…wait…I get it. Ill explain later.”
The next day, Mike Bibby led Shadow Mountain’s basketball team to a state championship—their fourth in a row.
Then, on Monday, the district suspended Bibby.
A text from the principal reads:
“Gentlemen, I made the call to coach and told him he could not come to campus, go to events, or talk to students or staff. He said that he received the email and understood.”
Pending the results of the police investigation, Bibby is no longer eligible to coach at Shadow Mountain.
But Bibby’s attorney says they do not plan on fighting that decision unless Bibby ultimately decides he wants to return. Bibby's attorneys say they categorically deny the allegations.