Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Former FGCU insider sheds some light

From the News-Press, a Q&A with former FGCU assistant basketball coach LeAnn Freeland. Freeland was one of the four coaches who spoke with Merrily Dean Baker about the situation for women in the athletic department. Her account confirms some speculations that have been about regarding who knew what when. The recent story about the poor or average evaluations of the volleyball and golf coaches spurred Freeland's frank discussion about the atmosphere in the department, which she left this past summer to take on the head coach position at University of Indianapolis. Freeland says that even before the investigation administrators knew who the complaint was from and who had been involved in drafting it. This counters the assertions by the AD and senior women's administrators who said they had not seen the report before issuing the coaches' evaluations.

Freeland also gives specific examples that illustrate the problems in the department with regards to gender equity and that relate only to her own experience (including sexual harassment), but notes that there were only four women in coaching positions (head or assistant) and all four were involved in the complaint. In other words, though their experiences may have been different, they all knew things were amiss.

And the internal investigation probably did little to engender change. Freeland wrote of the tension-filled atmosphere in the department during the investigation. It is unlikely that has dissipated with the new charges of retaliation.

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