PHOENIX — The lawyer representing the teacher claiming former NBA player and Shadow Mountain basketball coach Mike Bibby groped and rubbed his genitals on her says the school knew about the allegations before last weekend's championship game.
In fact, the victim's team says school administrators may have known about it for years.
"You have a very popular coach who has been very successful," said the woman's attorney Tom Ryan. "I have a deep seeded concern that school officials and school district officials may have looked the other way knowing that they had this kind of problem on their hands."
He says school administrators were notified about the alleged assault shortly after his client says it happened in February 2017.
Paradise Valley Unified School District, however, says administrators "unequivocally had no knowledge and were not informed" of the alleged assault until Feb. 25, 2019, when police delivered a copy of the injunction against harassment.
In a statement sent to 12 News on Thursday, the school district claims it received a third-party tip about the alleged assault on Feb. 11 and set up a meeting with the woman for Feb. 13. The school district says the woman canceled that meeting and it was rescheduled for the next, but then canceled by the school's resource officer.
By that time, the district says the police had asked the school to stop the internal review.
The Phoenix Police Department launched an investigation into Bibby on Feb. 12, yet the school district didn't take action against Bibby until after he led Shadow Mountain's basketball team to a state championship on Saturday.
It wasn't until Tuesday, after media reports of the allegation, that the school district said Bibby was no longer eligible to coach.
When 12 News asked the school district why no action was taken until recently, a spokesperson for the district offered this response:
"We are unable to answer your questions as this is an ongoing police investigation."
According to the injunction against harassment, the Shadow Mountain teacher says in 2017 Bibby motioned her over to his car, jumped out of the driver's seat, picked her up and laid her down on the seat. There, he groped her and rubbed his genitals on her, the document says. She says she smelled alcohol on his breath as he said sexually explicit things to her, according to the document.
The injunction also outlines several times since that 2017 incident when the woman said she felt stalked by Bibby through uninvited visits to her classroom.
Bibby's lawyer Donald Harris told 12 News on Tuesday that the assault never happened.
Meantime, Bibby's second attorney Mike Piccarreta is doubling down.
"It's very easy to throw allegations out in this day and age and unfortunately they get publicity and unfortunately it causes a great deal of pain," Piccarreta said.