Saturday, August 11, 2007

Retaliation at FGCU?

If administrators at Florida Gulf Coast University thought the recent controversy over Title IX was over (after an internal investigation found the university had not violated the federal law), they were probably not too happy to find someone had gone to the press about recent evaluations of female head coaches.
The Naples Daily News and The News-Press of southwest Florida both report that golf coach Holly Vaughn and volleyball coach Jaye Flood have received poor job performance evaluations with Flood writing a memo that cites her involvement in the recent complaint that the department was violating Title IX as the reason for her low marks.
It is hard to figure out what exactly is happening at FGCU. Flood contends this is retaliation, administrators cite various problems they have had with her comportment within and outside the university. Additionally they say they did not see the report that implicated the coaches until after the evaluations were complete.
We will likely never know the reality of the situation. But we do know 1) that the atmosphere in the FGCU athletic department is not conducive to producing successful programs headed by female coaches; and 2) that women coaches are becoming more and more aware of avenues they can take to fight discrimination. The success Lindy Vivas had against Fresno State recently will have far-reaching effects. And I wouldn't be surprised to hear that other coaches, perhaps even the ones at FGCU, have been empowered to take action after the Vivas trial.

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