Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Athletic Department Assistant Sues Fresno State

Iris Levesque, a former administrative assistant for the Fresno State men's basketball program, has filed a lawsuit against the university alleging she was the victim of sex discrimination in the athletic department. Levesque says that she was fired in 2005, not for financial reasons as the department maintained, but because she complained about the hostile and discriminatory atmosphere of the basketball office under then-head coach Ray Lopes. The Frenso Bee's story here. Indymedia's is here.

Among other things, Levesque alleges that Lopes insisted that she replace her male student assistant with a female student assistant “because it would be better for recruiting.” He also refused to curb inappropriate behavior of his players, which included changing their clothes in her office and leaving sexual images of women around.

She also claims that Lopes ordered her to stop complaining to her superiors and that when she didn't, he retaliated with hostility and by stealing her notes and files and destroying notes she had taken about possible NCAA violations.

As our regular readers well know, this lawsuit comes on the heels of three similar, high profile cases that resulted in multi-million jury awards or settlement to each plaintiff. Levesque has hired the the same lawyers that represented Vivas, Milutinovich, and Johnson-Klein. According to the Bee, there has not yet been talk of settlement in this matter, but I've gotta believe after all that's happened, Fresno State feels more in the mood for a quick exit here.

(Thanks to Dan W. for the heads up!)