Thursday, October 16, 2008

FGCU Coaches Win $3.4 Mil Settlement

Last December 7 I wrote a post here about the deplorable situation at Florida Gulf Coast University where women coaches were being retaliated against for complaining about Title IX violations. The university and two of the coaches involved, former golf coach Holly Vaughn and former volleyball coach Jaye Flood, reached a settlement in which the two coaches will receive a total of $3.4 million. Here is another story about this. There was also a defamation charge in the lawsuit, I assume because the university tried to smear Jaye Flood by claiming she grabbed a player by the shirt (never substantiated) and that she had a sexual relationship with the team manager (never substantiated either). The university also agreed to a full external gender equity compliance review as part of the settlement. This is good because we already know that an internal review is useless since they already did one and decided that everything was just hunky dory in the athletic department.
It is telling, however, that no one from the athletic department was present for the announcement of the settlement and the University President stated that he has “full confidence” in athletic director Carl McAloose. The settlement also means that FGCU does not have to admit any wrongdoing. This does not lead me to believe that that anyone in the school administration or athletic department leadership has seen the light at all. The arrogance and sexism of the athletic department leadership (backed by the same from the school administration) and the refusal of the coaches to sit back and take it without a fight resulted in the boys being called to account. However, with the same old leadership who has the same old attitudes about women’s sports, how can we expect any more than the same old, same old? I hope I am wrong.

FGCU lost two successful coaches, got some bad publicity and their insurance company had to pay out $3.4 mil. I hope that is enough to catch the attention of other schools. Women coaches and athletes are not taking this kind of treatment anymore. Those who challenge discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation are winning hefty settlements. It’s a shame it has to come to that, but if that‘s what it takes to get the attention of these bozos, I’m all for it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. For the past several years I've fought hate speech in my life. Often people accuse me of being gay, call me a freak and don't understand why it's harmful (even after I explain it to them). I know though that there are people who now have the courage to speak up because they've witnessed me doing so and I know that there are people who don't speak up but have atleast stopped using the words themself. With this grassroots effect we can reach so many people. The more people who jump on the bandwagon to stop hatespeech the more people we can get the message to. I'm glad to see that there is a formal movement targeting this. I'd also like to call attention to people who use the word "pimp" as a compliment or a synonym for cool. Since when is it cool to demean and sexually exploit women? There is a long way to go. Thanks again for posting this. It's often a lonely battle, but an important one.

calugg said...

Oy. I'm really sorry there was a settlement in this case. I would have preferred the administrators involved be sucessfully sued for punative damages.

One hopes that the university's board of trustees calls the president on the carpet on this matter.

Furthermore, In the midst of the worst financial crisis since the great depression, the insurance company isn't going to be too happy with the university's management. I suspect they're busily combing through the contract to see if they can:

1. Make the university pay (if there was a lack of oversight).
2. Dump the university as a client.

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