The governing body for basketball in Newfoundland and Labrador has suspended former professional athlete Carl English after an altercation with a student athlete during a memorial tournament played in November.
In a leaked copy of Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association documents obtained by CBC News on Wednesday, the league says an incident report was sent to its office on Nov. 23 following a complaint of "alleged emotional abuse towards a player" following a game Nov. 18.
The documents say English was provided a copy of the incident report on Nov. 29 and was invited to provide a written response to the league and its three-person basketball integrity committee.
English responded the same day, explaining that when his team and their opponents, the Mount Pearl Senior High basketball team, were shaking hands after the game, one of the Mount Pearl players refused to shake English's hand.
English said he told the player "he needs to learn how to win and lose."
English said the player responded with "vulgar comments" and he responded to the player with "That's what you are as well," which he said was "no big deal."
According to the documents, English was more specific in a Dec. 15 email about what was said.
"I questioned the player for not wanting to shake my hand, and he responded, 'f--- you, pussy.' I responded the same to him and said, 'you're a f---ing pussy for not shaking my hand,'" the league documents read.
The league says English declined an in-person hearing and the panel reviewed the incident report and held a virtual meeting on Jan. 3 and again on Jan. 8 to discuss the incident and review NLBA policies.
In its report, the panel found English violated "multiple NLBA policies during this incident and his own admissions."
"The nature of this incident is inappropriate for all levels but far worse when occurring with youth in sports," reads the NLBA's written decision.
"Coach English retaliated with verbal and emotional abuse to a youth's inappropriate actions. He has decades of professional experience in sport in varying roles, and this should have prevented this from ever occurring."
The league continued on to say English showed remorse for the incident but didn't "show a true understanding for the severity of the entire scenario," pointing to his assertion that what he said was "no big deal" and that vulgarity throughout the game was "all part of the game."
The panel, noting it was English's first offence as a coach, ordered him to complete training in four programs in safe sport, leadership and ethics within 30 days.
The league also further suspended English for 60 days from any NLBA-affiliated coaching and games. The decision also outlined the process for English to appeal the decision if he chooses to.
When contacted by CBC News, English would not comment on the matter and said he's currently speaking with lawyers.
The NLBA also wouldn't comment on the matter but told CBC News it would be issuing a statement Thursday.
English played four years of NCAA Division I basketball before embarking on a professional career across Europe and in St. John's as part of the now defunct St. John's Edge. He opened his own basketball academy in St. John's in 2020.