Monday, October 29, 2007

New week, new FGCU controversy

FGCU volleyball coach Jaye Flood is still apart from her team, which has made it to the post-season; the school's investigation is complete but there is no word on what was discovered.

And now FGCU has suspended brand new assistant softball coach Gina Ramacci, also for unspecified "student welfare issues." It might be difficult to claim backlash for complaining about gender equity since Ramacci was hired in June and not part of the complaint given to FGCU over the summer that has resulted in a great deal of turmoil in the athletics department. But who knows. Ramacci may have arrived in Naples and seen that things were amiss and started asking questions.

But I also wonder about an issue that has gone unaddressed to date: homophobia. Studies that address the decline in women in coaching point to homophobia as one of the key reasons why women leave or are pushed out of the profession. There are countless stories about such situations. Is Jaye Flood, and now Gina Ramacci, being targeted because some at FGCU suspect them of being gay? Or maybe they are gay and out (though this seems more unlikely given the climate at FGCU and in that area of Florida in general) and these recent administrative leaves are retaliation. Because it seems odd that a coach would be suspended for pulling a player's shirt--it happens all the time in basketball, with both men and women--unless that coach was perceived to be a lesbian and the act was thus turned into some sexual rather than an aggressive coaching tactic.
I doubt the press will address this issue and even more doubtful that the investigation will. But I think when (or if?) the findings are revealed, we will find some interesting things in between the lines.

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