Sunday, February 10, 2008

She said that out loud?

The drama that is the Florida Gulf Coast University Athletic Department continues this weekend with the revelation that AD Carl McAloose and Associate AD Kathy Peterson knew what steps needed to be taken in order to terminate volleyball coach Jaye Flood.
The pair was told one year ago by FGCU general counsel, the then president, and the HR director that there was nothing in Flood's file that would warrant firing her. Something like a poor performance evaluation would have to exist for such action to be considered. And in July of 2007 exactly that piece of "documentation" was added to Flood's file. She received a rating of "below expectations."
The report issued by Littler Mendelson, the law firm that investigated the claims of Title IX violation, employment disrimination, and retaliation, found that there was no evidence to warrant Flood's poor evaluation. The report noted that reprimands would be put into McAloose's and Peterson's own files for giving such an evaluation without evidence.
Without evidence, but not without cause, as we now know. Peterson told--as in spoke aloud--investigators that she did not like Flood and that if another coach--one whom she liked--had Flood's record and job performance, she would have given her an "exceeds expectations" rating. Also, the below expectations rating Flood did receive last summer was not the one Peterson and McAloose wanted to issue. They wanted to give her the lowest possible rating of unsatisfactory but were told by HR that Flood's performance did not reflect such an evaluation.
Peterson went back to investigators--after talking to McAloose--the day after her "I don't like her" testimony and tried to recant.
What about this isn't retaliation?
The investigation report downplayed the performance evaluation by simply saying there was not enough evidence to support Flood's rating. But there was clearly so much more going on. And this makes me--and it should make others--wonder about validity of this report. Littler Mendelson is being paid by FGCU and we have to ask whether the findings were presented in such a way as to benefit the client.