Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
What They're Saying: Louis van Gaal    
"[I] have transformed the Dutch school from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 and, depending on the opponent, it ...
A costly miss from two yards out    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Robert Herrera of Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting managed to hit the ...
Seattle clinches regular-season title    
[NWSL: Week 16] The Seattle Reign FC clinched the 2014 NWSL regular-season title with four games ...
D.C. United and New England go for three    
[MLS: Wednesday] D.C. United confirmed its credentials and New England broke an eight-game losing streak in ...
Liverpool rallies to win clash of EPL's top teams    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Stevan Jovetic twice scored to put Manchester City ahead, but Liverpool got goals from ...
2014 PDL All-League Team    
[AWARDS] The Michigan Bucks and FC Tucson led all teams with two selections apiece on the ...
Grondona dies after 35 years as Argentine boss    
[OBITUARY] Julio Grondona, FIFA senior vice president, died on Wednesday after being admitted to a Buenos ...
Philly acquisition of Mbolhi 'no-brainer'    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The Philadelphia Union already has Zac MacMath, who at the age of 22 is ...
Montreal dismisses De Santis as sporting director    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Halfway through what is shaping up to be one of the worst seasons in ...
Rubin likes FC Utrecht's ambitions    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Rubio Rubin had to wait until he turned 18 in March to be eligible ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives