7 Investigates: Nampa school officials pull basketball coaching offer

Offer for incoming Nampa coach pulled.

NAMPA -- Two men recently offered coaching jobs at Nampa High School were stripped of their job offers.

Protests were held throughout the day about Nampa's soon-to-be boys' varsity basketball coach, James Daye.

MOREStudents, parents protest Nampa coach's dismissal

KTVB has been looking into Daye for the last couple months after we received a concerned tip into the newsroom. We looked into his background and the allegations that have followed him for the last 27 years.

James Daye coached Nampa High's Women's Junior Varsity Basketball last year and was leading the boys' summer programs before taking over as their head coach in the fall.

KTVB reached out to Daye and his attorney on Monday, but they chose not to do an on-camera interview with us until after they meet with school district officials. However Daye did tell us that those being hurt by this decision are the players.

Students and parents protested the school district's decision throughout the day on Monday - a decision protesters say was based on an anonymous letter. Parents and players say the district has been less than transparent, not disclosing what the contents of that letter are.

"Everyone loves Daye, he's been the best coach," Nampa High School senior and basketball player, Nick Knight, said. "Coach Daye changed everything at the program for me. I mean, we've had a rough last few years, the coaching hasn't been exceptional, but James came up, he's got state championships on his record... Just over the course of a couple weeks we were going from losing to winning games."

"We, as parents, are standing up for this because it's fundamentally wrong," parent Brian Knight told KTVB. "It's the wrong message to the kids that you could do something like this and affect someone's life, and all the kids' lives, and the basketball program, and the school."

Nampa High School offered Daye the boys' varsity basketball coach position in late June. A little over a month later, the district rescinded their offer without much further explanation.

"A lot of things came to our attention so we were in a position where we had to withdraw that offer," Nampa School District Director of Communication, Kathleen Tuck, said.

Some protesters on Monday were calling the decision racist.

"We think that had something to play into this as well," Brian Knight said.

Tuck says more than 13 percent of their adjunct coaching staff are minorities.

"This definitely has nothing to do with race," she added.

Daye has an extensive, solid record as a basketball coach in multiple states. He moved to Idaho a couple years ago and has since run a private coaching program, worked for the YMCA and coached at the Meridian Homecourt.

But KTVB found out, he also has a history that's plagued him from state-to-state.

A 2009 document from the New York State Department of Education shows Daye was a coach and teacher at McKinley high school in Buffalo, N.Y. He resigned and surrendered his teaching certificates after the education department began investigating him. The department held proceedings and placed Daye on paid administrative leave for months after becoming aware of allegations out of South Carolina; the accusations were that he had sexual relations with a female student. while he was a teacher and coach in Greenville in the early 1990's.

In the surrender agreement KTVB obtained, it shows the Education Department entered the certification surrender into a national teaching clearinghouse (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Educator Identification Clearinghouse).

Daye's attorney, Robert Huntley, wrote in a letter to KTVB:

"We could be wrong, but i believe a thorough investigation will demonstrate that there is no credible foundation for the allegations stemming from his time in South Carolina. It is conceded by all who have fairly examined the facts, that there is absolutely no substance to anything which was alleged to have happened in Buffalo or Greenville".

"We're aware of all of the allegations and we're aware of the concerns of the parents," Tuck said. "This is a difficult decision for us and we made sure that we made the very best decision that we could based on the information that we had."

The Nampa School District says they did their due diligence under state law: they performed a criminal background check and Daye underwent interviews with Nampa High administrators, including the athletic director. Ultimately, the decision to hire him was up to Principal Diana Molino and Athletic Director Ty Thomas.

Since these are allegations, they don't show up on a background check and the district couldn't comment on whether they were aware of the allegations before they hired him.

But now, questions are being raised about whether Nampa High did their homework.

"I think all that I can really say is that we followed the process," Tuck responded.

Officials say they re-posted the position and they'll work to find the best person for the job.

"We're looking for the very best coach we can get for Nampa High School," Tuck said.

But some players and parents tell us kids are considering transferring because of this situation.

"We don't really trust the process that we're going to get a better coach. He's the best we can get," Nick Knight said.

The school district cites personnel matters in releasing any more information about Daye's dismissal.

KTVB filed public records requests with the Nampa School District and is working with the district in South Carolina where the allegations were made.

This is a developing investigative story.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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