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Petition for Desert Vista basketball coach to keep job takes off

An online petition on Change.org was signed by almost 1,000 people in just the first 24 hours.

PHOENIX — A Valley mom has started an online petition hoping it will help a Desert Vista High School basketball coach keep his job.

Coach Gino Crump was caught on camera after a December 13 game between Desert Vista and Phoenix Saint Mary's, where he appears to grab one of his players by the back of his jersey.

The video has been controversial.

The incident caused Desert Vista High School to start an internal investigation into the coach's actions. At the end of the investigation, school officials made a recommendation to fire Coach Crump.

However Carolynn and Antone White hope that doesn't happen.

They started an online petition on Change.org, which was signed by almost 1,000 people in just the first 24 hours.

Carolynn and Antone say the video doesn't show the whole story.

They say the two teams had been trash-talking to each other throughout the game, and things came to a head as the players were about to shake hands.

"It was a volatile situation," Antone said. "The crowd was hyped up in regards to the taunting that was happening beforehand, and that's when Gino was trying to make sure our kids got to the locker room safely and keep the kids separated."

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Carolynn said the video shows the coach trying to stop a fight between the two teams from starting. 

"[You] can see Coach Gino try to pull him back and push him towards the locker room, and it's pretty animated, I get it... but sometimes you do things to get the right outcome," Carolynn said.

The Tempe Union High School District school board is scheduled to meet on Jan. 15 to make its final decision regarding the coach's job. 

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