Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Dorrance suit ends with settlement and apology
by Paul Kennedy, January 15th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Almost 10 years after the lawsuit was initiated, University of North Carolina women's head coach Anson Dorrance settled a sexual harassment suit filed by former Tar Heel Melissa Jennings.

Dorrance, who has led North Carolina to 19 national championships, avoided the prospect of a jury trial in Federal court this spring when UNC agreed to pay Jennings $385,000 (mostly in attorney's fees). Dorrance also issued an apology letter, and school agreed to review is its sexual harassment policies and procedures.

The case centered around discussions of a sexual nature Dorrance had with a group of his players. His position and that of UNC was that they were merely banter of a "jesting or teasing nature," but the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that Dorrance's conduct "went far beyond simple teasing and qualified as sexual harassment."

Legal experts have considered the opinion to be an important one in the field of sexual harassment.

Jennings' position was that Dorrance created an environment that violated Title IX law by denying her the benefits of collegiate sports. Another former player, U.S. international Debbie Keller, also filed suit but settled with the university for a reported $70,000 in 2004.

"I understand that my participation in those discussions was inappropriate and unacceptable," Dorrance's apology letter said. "I apologize to Ms. Jennings and her family, as well as all other members of the soccer team."

In the agreement, Jennings stipulated that no pass was made at her, but the sexual discussions were uninvited and offensive.

"As a result, I personally felt extremely uncomfortable," she said in her letter.

UNC officials stressed the apology was not an admission of guilt and that they were confident in the outcome of the trial.

In a statement Monday, Dorrance said: "Since August 1998, I have looked forward to clearing my name in court. That is still true today. I understand, though, that after nine years of litigation, it is best for the University, our soccer program and all of us involved in this case for it to end here."

Dan Konicek, Jennings' lawyer, told the Daily Tar Heel that his client was very happy.

"The way the case had progressed for the nine years was a complete denial of the facts," Konicek said.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
NWSL Weekend: Chicago pulls ahead    
The Chicago Red Stars opened up a four-point leads in the NWSL when it won their ...
Julian Green called in for U-23s at Toulon Tournament    
Julian Green, who played for the USA at the 2014 World Cup, has been called in ...
Road to Vancouver: Ticas take three U.S. collegians    
Penn State's Rachel Rodriguez and Shirley Cruz of UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up Paris St. Germain ...
Road to Vancouver: Mexico takes 14 U.S. players    
Mexico will take 14 players who were born or raised in the United States, including late ...
What They're Saying: Robbie Keane    
"The problem is I think with people in Europe -- and this won't be Stevie's case ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"I have experienced sexism multiple times, and I'm sure I will a lot more. I feel ...
What They're Saying: France U-17 coach Jean-Claude Giuntini    
"He was determined to take the penalty. There was no way I could refuse him." -- ...
Friday: Shared interests foster Beckham's Miami meeting    
Friday could be a decisive day as David Beckham seeks to get the ball rolling on ...
What They're Saying: Luis Figo    
"I have seen with my own eyes federation presidents who, after one day comparing FIFA leaders ...
NWSL Roundup: Reign has plenty to counter China    
Seattle Reign FC has another bye week in the NWSL, but it will use it to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives