Bellaire baseball coach Nick Ozuna is being investigated after last Friday’s game, when players were accused of making racial taunts towards Westbury High School players.
SEE ORIGINAL FEATURE: Bellaire HS baseball coach on vacation as video shows tempers flare over controversial game
A HISD spokesman confirmed that Bellaire baseball coach Nick Ozuna was rehired Friday afternoon and was not placed on paid administrative leave. HISD officials also say ABC13 Bellaire’s assistant coach Robert Manuel has also been reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.
The HISD spokesman says they will report to work at a different HISD location each day. They don’t enroll in Bellaire High School and coach the baseball team.
“He’s so angry that the Bellaire High School baseball coach wouldn’t stop him. Doing nothing and not even apologizing to the Westbury baseball team and coaching staff is what angers these African American parents,” Quanell X said with the New Black Panther Organization.
Quanell X says parents wanted the manager to immediately suspend the player accused of making the noise. They hoped Coach Nick Ozuna would send a clear message to other players.
“The family is very disappointed. They’re upset,” said attorney representing several Westbury families, Kevin Murray.
“It’s the district’s responsibility to do its part to ensure that this type of behavior, this type of callousness that happens, doesn’t happen again,” said Dr. Matthews from the Rainbow Push Coalition.
While some are calling for Coach Ozuna to be fired, others are standing by him.
“I think once he gets a chance to speak and lay his side of the story, we’ll all see that it’s undeserved,” said a member of the Bellaire community who says Ozuna coached his kid, Steven Karpas. “He has been a coach at Bellaire High School for over 18 years and has never exhibited such behavior.”
We contacted Ozuna’s attorney on Friday. They said they would not comment beyond what they told ABC13 on Thursday, which includes in part:
“Any claim that he condoned or dismissed racial slurs is false. Any claim that Coach Ozuna has racist animus is false.”
Just arrived: Cardinal Baseball Booster Club President Terry Yates says, “Out of respect for the process, we will not specifically respond to the false and defamatory gossip spewed by specific individuals and organizations…” (1/2) @abc13houston
— Daniela Hurtado (@ABC13Daniela) April 1, 2022
The Bellaire baseball team’s booster president said he would not comment on the false allegations out of respect for the process and said he expected the matter to be thoroughly investigated and resolved.
For updates on this story, follow Daniela Hurtado on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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https://abc13.com/houston-isd-high-school-baseball-nick-ozuna-westbury-bellaire/11701647/ Bellaire baseball coach Nick Ozuna is under investigation after players were accused of racially taunting Westbury players