The Richland softball coach accused of making racially insensitive remarks to players was reprimanded by the school’s principal, according to records obtained Tuesday.
In an April letter to coach Brenda Jacobson, Richland principal Carla Rix concluded that Jacobson “may have made inappropriate comments to students based on race or skin color.”
Rix instructed Jacobson to “adhere to professional communication” with players and parents and to not “make reference to any person regarding race or skin color.” Jacobson’s punishment didn’t include a suspension, and she was placed on administrative leave during the investigation for less than one school day.
As the Star-Telegram originally reported in April, Jacobson was accused in March of making remarks last season and in 2014. They included:
▪ Telling a black player that “the sun is more attracted to you because you are black.”
▪ Referring to a black player’s hair as “nappy and nasty.”
▪ Saying that a black player wouldn’t do a certain drill “because there is water on the ground and black people don’t like water.”
▪ Telling a black player, “see, everyone is white on the inside,” after the player cut her leg after sliding into a base.
Jacobson denied the remarks, which were alleged by multiple players and denied by others. In total, 11 players were interviewed during the investigation, according to Rix’s reprimand letter.
The Star-Telegram requested a copy of the reprimand April 3, but Birdville school officials withheld the document, saying it was not covered under the Texas Public Information Act.
But the attorney general’s office ruled two weeks ago that Rix’s letter of reprimand shouldn’t have been withheld.
Birdville school officials released the document Tuesday.
Jacobson, who remained as Richland’s coach, could not be reached for comment.
Questions to her and Birdville administrators in April were referred to district spokesman Mark Thomas.
But in an email to the father of the player who accused Jacobson of the remarks, Birdville Superintendent Darrell Brown wrote that he was “aware of some issues where improvement is needed immediately.”
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760