Former Los Altos baseball player sues coach/school district for repeated benching, citing “harassment and bullying.” Your thoughts?

By Hayley Mungia, staff reporter
A former Los Altos High School student and baseball player is suing the school district and his former coach for hundreds of thousands of dollars because the coach repeatedly benched him.
According to the suit, the school’s head varsity baseball coach, Gabriel Lopez, repeatedly refused to let 17-year-old Robbie Lopez, no relation, play throughout his senior year. The suit claims this constituted a pattern of “harassment and bullying.”
The teenager and his parents are seeking $150,000 or more, according to the suit.

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  • hs sports fan

    why stop a frivolous law suit and only sue for 150,000? make it 2 million or 5 million for that matter. kid didn’t have a chance, yet i’m sure he must have hit home runs non stop in batting practice… and probably got drafted too… and i am also sure must have been first team all league in prior years. what a joke. will be sad if the district settles for even a penny. even more sad when a coach’s decision on playing time become a decision that is dollar value related. wish the coach would have put the kid on jv so then the kid should have showcased his great talents

  • reality

    Man I should have sued old man Hicks for the C on my English final essay. It cost me entrance to Harvard.

    • hs sports fan

      great point. and also the lost wages from not being able to go to harvard

  • Chaleko

    According to the story, the kid was a three-year starter for the varsity. I wonder what happened to put him so deep in the coach’s doghouse? Do they really bench you for not participating in fund-raising? The lawsuit is frivolous for sure, but still seems strange when a 3-year starter can’t get off the bench.

    • reality

      Only because I’ve been there this suit is all about revenge. To try and inflict all the pain they can to the coach that caused pain to the player. For sure there are two sides and will at some point be thrown out but until then the player’s family will revel in watching the coach squirm. The money spent on a lawyer is worth it. Equivalent to the money spent on bullets.

      • Henry

        So you know this first hand?

        • reality

          Oh Yeah. A few years back and good guys got paid. Non-disclosure agreements were required on both sides so must be careful so as not to risk settlement.

  • Conq ’76

    The courts are our civilized remedy for such things as abuse of authority and allowing those with discretionary power to unfairly target those seemingly without recourse. Of course coaches have to be held accountable. However, responsibility has to go hand in hand with the authority to to make decisions within his role as coach.

    Sounds like he may have stepped beyond doing what is in the best interests of everyone involved.

    • hs sports fan

      bobby knight just committed suicide after seeing the law suit!

      • Conq ’76

        Ha, talk about vindictive and capricious!

      • scotty bore as

        bob knight, one of the worlds all-time douche bags and bully

  • Lupe

    Scary situation. This is why you will see less & less on campus coaches. Club sports will only get bigger. Can’t see football ever going club, but the all of the other sports are in danger.

  • Ronald Reagan

    Well

    STEPS

    1. Did the player talked to the coach?
    2. Did the parents have a meeting with the coach?
    3. Did they have a meeting with the coach and AD?
    4. Did they have a meeting with the coach, AD, and Principal?
    5. Did they talked to the district.
    6. Did they talked to CIF

    It is a privilege to play in a HS sport, not a right.
    Maybe the other player was better, coaches right.

    • Conq ’76

      This one appears a bit deeper than that. Are coaches granted the authority via their hiring to single out a specific player for prolonged punitive measures over the course of an entire season for opting out of a voluntary activity? Especially if it is stated that coach cannot punish a player for failing to participate in that activity?

      • Wells

        If the issue is actually deeper, then the other steps fix the problem unless everyone person above the coach has the attitude, “The coach can be as punitive as possible, regardless of the situation.”

        • Conq ’76

          Well, we are going to see.

          Not sure what you mean with… “The coach can be as punitive as possible, regardless of the situation.”

          Coach’s do not have unfettered rein over players, if that was the point you were trying to make.

          • Wells

            I agree with that last part. My point was there are proper channels that should counter-balance a coach that is abusing his power by being excessively punitive. My point was the other people above the coach would have to have a similar attitude to allow a coach to “abuse” the player; since that is what is being alleged.

          • Conq ’76

            Yep, hard to see how someone didn’t step into this mess during the season…

          • Wells

            That was my point with the first post. I am not sure how big of a mess this was during the season. I have no idea what really occurred during practice, but it is possible that other players out performed him. Being on varsity for two years does guarantee a starting position the third year.

          • Conq ’76

            When you’re right you’re right!