High-school baseball players in Texas were running an underground fight club while their coaches mocked injured students, according to documents obtained by the Dallas Morning News. An investigation into Plano East Senior High head coach Travis Collins and assistant coach Reagan Allen started last year after parents complained the coaches "promoted a culture of hazing and hostility." The school district's investigation revealed senior players were organizing yearly fight clubs in the team's batting cages while coaches were at an annual conference. Collins and Allen deny knowing anything about the fight clubs, despite players—who were given only "cheap boxing gloves"—walking around with "bruised knuckles and black eyes." "There was no backing out of the fight for fear of shame and humiliation by the others," one player told investigators.
The investigation also found Collins and Allen used racist and derogatory terms around players, failed to follow concussion protocols, and called injured players selfish for not helping the team, the Morning News reports. Players say they felt pressured to play while hurt, and one student with an injured back was called "Brokeback Mountain" by the coaches. "It was as if it was just a game to the coaches to see who could dish out the funniest nickname or phrase to ridicule the hurt player," one student told investigators. The coaches, who've been with the school district for more than a decade, "vehemently deny" the allegations. They've been on paid administrative leave since August. Supporters of Collins and Allen claim those making the allegations are just upset about a lack of playing time. Read the full story here. (Read more fight club stories.)