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
Germany rests trio of stars for U.S. friendly    
Germany's national team coach Joachim Loew named a 20-player squad for the June 10 friendly against ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: France's Louisa Necib    
France's Women's World Cup hopes received a boost on Friday when star Louisa Necib played her ...
USL Weekend: Floods leave Austin stadium under water    
Bad weather that hit the Southwest caused havoc around the USL. The game between the Austin ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos break open spring race    
The New York Cosmos opened up a six-point lead in the NASL's spring standings with a ...
Video Pick: Own goals don't come sadder than this     
Pavel Krmas, a 35-year-old Czech defender playing in his 151st and final game for Freiburg, scored ...
What They're Saying: Christie Rampone    
"I didn't get an email or a phone call. I'm so old that I got a ...
Key games on tap in Europe this week     
The title winners in Europe's major leagues have been decided, but there are still plenty of ...
Europe in a Nutshell: Curtain comes down on 2014-15 season     
The earth as Leo Messi's soccer ball. Clubs say farewell. And a rough week for Lazio. ...
What They're Saying: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez    
"We didn't talk about spirituality. We talked about dollars and cents, and where it could get ...
ICYMI | MLS: Form counts for nothing; Wondo gets 100    
Do not ever think of betting money on MLS games as form counts for nothing as ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives