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Credit: David Folse / The New Orleans Advocate

Seven players at Salmen High School in Slidell, Louisiana say they were dismissed from the basketball team after refusing to play for their new “touchy-feely” basketball coach because he made them feel uncomfortable.

Kayla Sibley told the New Orleans Advocate coach Panos Bountovinas met with the girls and let them know they were no longer a part of the team. When Sibley and her teammates asked the principal why they were being dismissed, the senior said the group was told they weren’t allowed to ask questions.

Prior to being excused from the team, the girls’ complained Bountovinas touched them too much and sometimes lingered in the locker room.

“I felt uncomfortable around him on and off the court because he was very feely. Hand on the shoulders and other places and stuff,” Sibley said. “It made me feel uncomfortable. I never had a touchy-feely coach before. I felt uncomfortable.”

She continued, “There were two games this season when (female assistant coach Wendy Stampley) told him to get out of the locker room while we were dressing. He hesitated,” she explained. “(Previous) coach (Kevin) Anderson last year never had that problem. Coach Bountovinas was just standing there. It took him a while to get out. This has happened more than once.”

This is Bountovinas’ first year at Salmen High School. Previously, he spent two years at Mount Carmel High School, where he led the team to a state championship, before stepping down for personal reasons.

A meeting between parents and Salmen High School’s principal is schedule for Thursday.

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