College: North Carolina lawsuit -- former players target Dorrance

Here's a brief summary of the North Carolina women's civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Aug. 25: Plaintiffs: Former North Carolina players Debbie Keller and Melissa Jennings. Defendants: University of North Carolina, women's head coach Anson Dorrance, assistants Bill Palladino, Chris Ducar and Tracy Ducar, trainer Bill Prentice, chancellor Michael K. Hooker, assistant to the chancellor Susan Ehringhaus, director of athletics Richard A. Baddour, senior associate director of athletics Beth Miller and former director of athletics John Swofford. Charges: There are many charges, but they generally revolve around two themes: Dorrance sexually harassed Keller and he encouraged Jennings to drink against her religious beliefs. The four other members of the UNC women's soccer staff are accused, among other things, of failing to intervene or report Dorrance's alleged conduct. The five administrators are accused of failing to intervene and/or prohibit Dorrance's alleged conduct. Counts: Violation of Federal civil rights (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983) by the 10 individuals and the University of North Carolina; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress by Dorrance; Assault by Dorrance; Battery by Dorrance; Constructive Fraud by Dorrance; Negligent Retention by Dorrance; and Invasion of Privacy by Dorrance. Relief sought: $1 million compensatory damages by both plaintiffs; $10 million punitive damages by both plaintiffs; legal fees and costs; permanent injunction against Dorrance from coaching or being associated with the UNC athletic department or any other organization where he would be involved with female athletes or minors. Dorrance's reaction: ôI am shocked and saddened by these allegations. I intend to vigorously defend myself and this programÆs integrity. The allegations of sexual harassment and advances are not true. I have never and would never abuse my position in any way. IÆve respected every player I have coached both as an individual and as a member of my teams.ö Baddour's reaction: ôWe have investigated these playersÆ allegations that Coach Dorrance or other members of his staff failed to discourage the use of alcohol, asked one of the plaintiffs to lend the program $400 for a short time to purchase emergency supplies, and participated in team membersÆ discussions about their personal lives. At the end of the investigation, we concluded that Coach DorranceÆs conduct on those occasions did not violate University policy or any playerÆs civil rights. Although we found no evidence of misconduct, we did conclude that his conduct fell short of the standards of good judgment that we expect of University officials.ö
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