WILLIAMSPORT -- A lawsuit has been filed against a sports radio host by a former high school basketball coach in Lycoming County.
The former coach claims he's being defamed, but is what the host said a justifiable warning to parents or just retaliation for a business deal that went bad?
The lawsuit was filed by Darrick Dixon, a former Williamsport Area High School basketball star, coach, and current community leader and businessman.
But radio station owner and host Todd Bartley believes Dixon should be known for an incident against a 14-year-old girl in 2001.
February 1 at ESPN 1050 radio in downtown Williamsport, host Todd Bartley launched into a monologue directed at former Williamsport Area High School girls basketball coach Darrick Dixon.
"He betrayed the trust of one of his very own student athletes. And now he's right back to doing what he's been doing," said Bartley.
In 2001, Dixon was 23, and head coach of the Williamsport High School girls basketball team. He was charged with having sex with a 14-year-old player.
A year later, he pleaded no contest to statutory sexual assault, a charge that did not require him to register as a sex offender after he served 11 months in jail.
These days, Dixon goes by the name Darrick Rizzo. He spends time in high school gyms, streaming sporting events on his website, and making videos for student athletes looking for scholarships.
"Why is this individual, in the post-Jerry Sandusky era, walking around local schools?" Bartley asked.
Dixon is answering with a lawsuit against Bartley, his radio station, and ESPN claiming defamation and five other civil counts .
"They're not free to make up complete false statements," said Dixon's attorney Steve Silver. "And insinuate that he's still a threat and he's still having criminal contact with young girls."
Dixon's friends say he's paid his debt to society.
"I think it is more of a personal issue, a personal vendetta rather than a safety concern," said Meghan Rogers of Williamsport.
"He's been great to this community. He's helped this community tremendously," said Grady Walker of Hughesville.
But not all agree.
Sources tell Newswatch 16 that a handful of parents in Williamsport and in districts around Lycoming County have called administrators, demanding Darrick Dixon be banned from athletic practices and games.
Some parents near Harrisburg feel the same way.
Central Dauphin East High School girls basketball coach resigned Wednesday. Parents complained he brought Dixon to a practice earlier this year to tutor female players.
"It's putting a lot of teachers, coaches, administrators, and members of the community in a very tough position when he shows up," Bartley said.
Dixon's lawyer argues Todd Bartley is out for revenge.
Bartley did play-by-play for two games that were streamed on Dixon's website. But that partnership in 2013 came to a quick end and Dixon's lawyer says Bartley is still upset about it.
But during his radio monologue last month, Bartley said he's known of Dixon's record since 2007.
"If you knew about it and it bothered you, and you claim this whole fiasco is about public safety, protecting the kids, then why did you do it for nine years?" Silver asked.
Silver adds that Darrick Dixon has been out of jail for 13 years, and is legally permitted to come and go at athletic contests.
Silver adds that Dixon has a clean record since he got out of jail in 2003.
ESPN and ABC Radio, both named as defendants with Bartley, had no comment on Dixon's lawsuit.