Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Dorrance suit ends with settlement and apology
January 17th, 2008 2:45PM
Subscribe to College Soccer Reporter

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 College Soccer Reporter
Making a List: NCAA Division I women's champions    
USC became the first Pac-12 team and just fourth team to win more than one NCAA ...
Women's College Cup: USC stuns West Virginia    
USC got two late goals from Mexican international Katie Johnson to beat top-ranked West Virginia, 3-1, ...
NAIA: Hastings and NW Ohio take championships    
A pair of subs teamed up to give Hastings its second NAIA men's title over Rio ...
NCAA Division III: Tufts and Washington capture crowns    
Tufts won its second NCAA Division III men's championship in three years, while Washington (Mo.) captured ...
NCAA Division II: Wingate and WWU claim first titles    
Wingate and Western Washington won their first national championships in soccer when they captured the men's ...
College Men: Right to Dream's Twumasi carries Wake    
Ema Twumasi, another of Ghana's "Right to Dream" graduates who attended U.S. boarding schools, scored twice ...
College Men: Langsdorf does it again for Stanford    
In his three seasons at Stanford, Jordan Morris never had a season like his former classmate ...
College Men: Murphy sends Carolina to College Cup    
Limited to six games with a foot injury, transfer Drew Murphy came off the bench and ...
College Men: Denver headed to first final four    
Unbeaten Denver advanced to the Men's College Cup for the first time when it beat No. ...
Women's College Cup: West Virginia and USC reach final    
Excellent goals determined the two finalists that will meet Sunday to determine the national champion. Michaela ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives