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
January 17th, 2008 2:45PM



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



Recent College Soccer Reporter
Crowd Count: Wake Forest adds to attendance mark    
No. 1 seed Wake Forest added to its school record attendance record as the crowd of ...
Schedule: NCAA Division I Men's Tournament    
The quarterfinals in the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament are set: Akron-Creighton, Wake Forest-Stanford and Syracuse-Boston ...
Jordan Morris shines with help from his teammates    
U.S. international Jordan Morris scored two of the biggest goals of his college career, both off ...
Women: Duke stuns Stanford on penalty kicks    
After Virginia, Stanford became the second No. 1 seed to fall in the quarterfinals of the ...
Irwin steps down as Portland head coach    
Bill Irwin, who has been with the University of Portland staff for 29 years, the last ...
Women: Florida State buries Texas A&M    
Defending champion Florida State is headed back to the Women's College Cup for the fifth season ...
Women: Rutgers reaches College Cup for first time    
Rutgers came back from missing its first two shots in the shootout to beat Virginia and ...
Iowa Central takes first NJCAA DI women's championship    
Iowa Central defeated previously beaten and untied Eastern Florida State, 1-0, in rain-drenched for the NJCAA ...
Blackmore's 34th goal gives Louisburg NJCAA men's title    
English freshman Max Blackmore scored his 34th goal of the season, redirecting a cross from classmate ...
CIS: York repeats as national champion    
York University won Canada's CIS men's national championship for the second year in a row with ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives