Nyack to remove former coach's name from baseball field, scholarship
The Nyack school board approved a resolution at its meeting on Tuesday evening to remove the name of a former varsity baseball coach from its scoreboard as well as ditch a scholarship and memorial tournament named after him.
The changes come two years after the school district settled a case under the New York Child Victims Act where a former player accused former assistant coach Peter Recla of sex abuse in the late 90s.
No criminal charges were ever filed against Recla and by now the statute of limitations has eclipsed.
Former longtime head coach Dave Siegriest was in charge of the program when the alleged abuse took place, but he is not accused of any abuse. Nyack Baseball Alumni for Truth, Transparency & Support, a group of former players, said Siegriest is at a minimum negligent.
Julia Margagliotta is a friend of the former player at the center of the lawsuit and read a statement at Tuesday's meeting on his behalf.
"None of us can answer why he didn't act but the fact remains that Dave Siegriest in his role as head coach was responsible for protecting the children that he coached and failed," Margagliotta said.
Siegriest died in 2006 of pancreatic cancer at age 46.
His widow, Margaret Siegriest called it a vile assault on a man no longer alive to defend himself.
"If he were here today, he would be devastated to learn of the alleged sexual abuse by his assistant coach. He had no knowledge that this was happening," Siegriest said.
The district said its independent investigation could not definitively conclude Siegriest knew about the abuse accusations but that memorializing his name did not continue to meet the district's standards.
"We hope for the healing of anyone that was directly or indirectly impacted by any incident of this nature," Nyack School Board President Karen Hughes said.