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
January 17th, 2008 2:45PM

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
Amherst makes statement against top French youth teams    
[COLLEGE MEN] For the third time in the last quarter century, Amherst College men's team toured ...
Ohai gets goal, Taylor shutout in U-23s' win over Japan    
[SIX NATIONS TOURNAMENT] The U.S. under-23 women's national team opened play at the Six Nations Tournament ...
Maryland's trip to England in works for years    
[COLLEGE MEN] Maryland, the 2013 NCAA Division I men's runner-up, will tour England in March with ...
Gonzalez awarded long-term contract extension    
[UC RIVERSIDE: Women] UC Riverside has signed Nat Gonzalez, the  Big West Women's Coach of the ...
Smith was close to leaving Santa Clara for Notre Dame    
[COLLEGE WOMEN] Jerry Smith, who signed a seven-year extension that will keep him at Santa Clara ...
Jacksonville lures Ruiz from UCF    
[MEN'S COACHING CHANGES] Jacksonville appointed UCF associate coach Mauricio Ruiz as the Dolphins' new head men's ...
2014 college men's signings    
[DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY] Players with ties to the Development Academy confirmed their collegiate choices Wednesday on National ...
Drexel associate coach Green takes Belmont job    
[MEN'S COACHING CHANGES] Belmont hired Drexel associate coach Bryan Green as the fourth head men's coach ...
Thirty programs are making changes    
[WOMEN'S COACHING MOVES] Thirty Division I women's programs have replaced their head coach or are in ...
UNCG's Nugent named Cougars head coach    
[WASHINGTON STATE: Women] Steve Nugent, who spent the last three seasons at UNC Greensboro, was named ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives