Sunday, March 25, 2007

Former College Soccer Coach Brings Retaliation Suit

The Fargo-Moorhead Forum reports on an ongoing lawsuit between Minnesota State University Moorhead and its former women's soccer coach, Eric Swanbeck. Swanbeck sued in state court over a year ago under Title IX and a state whistleblower protection statute, alleging that the university refused to renew in contract in retaliation for bringing a Title IX complaint on behalf of his team in 2003. According to the article, we will find out in the coming weeks whether the court will dismiss the charges or schedule a trial for summer 2007.

A lot of facts seem to be at issue, raising the possibility of a trial. Some former players lodged complaints against Swanbeck in 2002 and 2003, which Swanbeck explains as resistance to his "high standards [of behavior] on and off the field." MSUM will try to show that it decided not to renew Swanbeck for these or related reasons, which is their right, instead of in retaliation for his Title IX complaint, which is unlawful.

FWIW, Swanbeck's complaint to OCR forced Minnesota State Moorhead to agree to make repairs and renovations to various women's sports facilities.

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