Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where Are They Now? Lesbian Coaches, Athletes and Lawsuits

I was reflecting on three lawsuits I reported on in my blog over the last year and wondering what the status of each one is. So, I googled around and here is what I found. If anyone else knows more about any of these lawsuits, I’d love to know what the latest updates are.


Jennifer Colli vs. Rhonda Rompola and Southern Methodist University

The Nutshell: Jennifer Colli was a player on the SMU women’s basketball team. Rhonda Rompola is the coach. In September, 2008 Colli filed a lawsuit against Rompola and the university claiming her scholarship was unfairly revoked after she complained to the AD that coach Rompola had an unusual interest in relationships among teammates and hypocritically condemned them since it was common knowledge that Rompola had a previous relationship with one of her women assistant coaches. Several players on the team backed up Colli’s allegations. An internal investigation found no wrong doing and backed coach Rompola. Rompola is now married to the former coach of the SMU men’s basketball team who now coaches the team at UNC- Greensboro making for a long commute to see his wife (Makes you go hmmmmm).

The Update: I could not find any more information about the status of this lawsuit. We know Rompola is still coaching at SMU. Jennifer Colli is in LA pursuing a modeling career From the photos on these linked web sites, it seems that Jennifer, who identified herself as a lesbian and acknowledged having a relationship with a teammate while at SMU, is pretty focused on her modeling career these days and presenting herself as a Danica Patrick wannabe in the photo shoots posted on the internet.

An interesting tidbit I uncovered while trying to get an update on this situation – In 1982 People Magazine reported that Nancy Lieberman, Martina Navratilova and Rhonda Rompola (then a star player at SMU) were roommates. For those of you too young to remember, this was the time when Nancy Lieberman held a press conference to announce that she was straight that and she and Martina were not in a relationship. She later fessed up in her book Lady Magic.


Brooke Heike vs. Sue Guevara and Central Michigan University

The Nutshell: In February, 2009 CMU basketball player, Brooke Heike sued Coach Sue Guevara and CMU claiming that she was benched and her scholarship was revoked because she was NOT a lesbian. Heike claimed that her coach told her she wore too much make-up and that she was not “her type” which Heike interpreted to mean not a lesbian. Coach Guevara and the university claim that Heike lost her scholarship because of her attitude and unwillingness to work hard on improving aspects of her game that she was repeatedly given feedback on. An appeals panel upheld the decision to revoke Heike’s scholarship after hearing testimony from Heike and Guevara.

The update: Last month a federal judge dismissed key parts of the lawsuit by ruling that Coach Guevara and other university officials have immunity from such legal claims in their official capacity. The judge did not rule on the merits of Heike’s lawsuit. Heike’s lawyer announced that they would be filing a state lawsuit to get around the ruling at the federal level. She also held out the option of pursuing the case federally by going after Guevara and the athletic director in “their personal capacities.” I’m not sure I understand any of these rulings, but it seems that at least one lawsuit of some kind is alive and well in the eyes of Heike and her attorney. Sue Guevara held her first basketball practice of the season and is excited about the team according to an article posted on the CMU web site. Brooke Heike is still a student at CMU.


Sulpizio & Bass vs. San Diego Mesa College

The nutshell: Lori Sulpizio was the women’s basketball coach at Mesa College. Cathy Bass, her domestic partner, was Director of Basketball Operations. Despite a successful eight year coaching career at Mesa, Sulpizio and Bass were fired at the end of the 2007 academic year. Their dismissal came after Sulpizio had advocated strongly for equal treatment of women athletes at the school and after a local publication identified Sulpizio and Bass as domestic partners with three children. Sulpizio and Bass filed a lawsuit charging Mesa with discrimination, harassment and retaliation. In September, 2008, the United States Office of Civil Rights found that there were substantial inequities in the treatment of male and female athletes at Mesa College which constituted a violation of Title IX.

The Update: This case is set to go trial by jury in San Diego Superior Court in two weeks. I plan on posting updates on this trial on my blog as the trial progresses. That is assuming that the case is not settled out of court in the next two weeks. Sulpizio is coaching at another school in the same conference as Mesa College and Bass is the Director of Basketball Operations.

17 comments:

Scamp said...

Thanks for the updates!

Anonymous said...

The San Diego jury ruled in Sulpizio's favor today!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Another Sulpizio update . . .

The jury awarded a year's lost income, which the defense argues as a victory. However, more recently the court awarded $300,000 in attorneys fees, which is a clear loss. The defense has appealed.

negocios rentables said...

hello, i would like to read more about this interesting topic beacuase it is really interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Facebook takes a [url=http://www.onlinecasinos.gd]baccarat[/url] bet on 888 casino see trade: Facebook is expanding its efforts to launch real-money gaming to millions of British users after announcing a deal with the online gambling companions 888 Holdings.And Bye.

Anonymous said...

buy a HjacduvA [URL=http://www.burberry-outlet2013.com/]burberry trench coat[/URL] for less voTOWehk [URL=http://www.burberry-outlet2013.com/ ] http://www.burberry-outlet2013.com/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

click [URL=http://louisvuittonbuy.urbanblog.dk/]buy louis vuitton bags[/URL] online vECHeIjh [URL=http://buylouisvuittonbags.gospace.altervista.org/ ] http://louisvuittonbuyonline.enterprisebusinessexperts.biz/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

get cheap [URL=http://erekod.smkseta.com/guccionlinerr/]gucci shop online[/URL] with low price LUWxYGYd [URL=http://erekod.smkseta.com/guccishoponlinety/ ] http://guccionlineshopqq.blag.gy/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

order an [URL=http://buylouisvuitton.livejournal.com/]buy louis vuitton online[/URL] , for special offer fpnyQnqw [URL=http://buylouisvuitton.livejournal.com/ ] http://buylouisvuitton.livejournal.com/ [/URL]

Tom McCollum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Green Rock said...

However, more recently the court awarded $300,000 in attorneys fees, which is a clear loss. The defense has appealed.
Miami Bail Bonds

Harry Salvin said...

I’m not sure I understand any of these rulings, but it seems that at least one lawsuit of some kind is alive and her attorney.

regards
Los Angeles Bail Bondsman

Tom Smith said...

I would like to read more about this interesting topic beacuase it is really interesting.
Bail Bonds Services Tampa

Anonymous said...

Outstanding job. Thank you.