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CdA coach sued over ball camp

Attorney general alleges Rook collected fees but canceled class

The baseball coach at Coeur d’Alene High School is accused of canceling a sports camp and keeping the money of four people who’d signed up.

The Idaho attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Nicholas Rook, asking that he pay a $20,000 fine over four complaints about his private business, Top Guns Development Camps, a training academy for aspiring baseball players.

The attorney general received four complaints between January and June from people in Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Connecticut who said they’d paid Rook nearly $700 for a baseball camp that was canceled just days before it was to begin, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act after negotiations with Rook failed, said Bob Cooper, spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

Reached by phone Thursday, Rook said he was in class and would call back but never did. Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent Hazel Bauman said she’ll wait for the civil suit to play out before commenting further. “Our hope is this is more of a failed business versus anything that’s been done on malicious intent,” Bauman said.

Top Guns Development Camp, formerly Top Guns Camps, started in 1997 and advertised as providing instruction from major league players and college baseball coaches, according to the lawsuit.

The company has an F grade from the Better Business Bureau because of 11 unanswered complaints in the past three years. Most of the complaints concerned refund issues and clients’ inability to contact the company by phone. “Email responses from the company are vague and do not help resolve the issues,” according to the Better Business Bureau’s Web site.

Rook, a 1997 Coeur d’Alene High graduate, was hired in summer 2008 to coach the school’s varsity baseball team. He’s also in charge of the high school’s in-school detention program.

He was named Idaho coach of the year in June after his first season.