Coach Files Reverse Discrimination Suit

Aug 23, 2005

An assistant hockey coach at Boston College has filed a reverse discrimination complaint after he was allegedly turned down for the same position with the Boston University women’s ice hockey team because he is a man.
Michael Cox, who is represented by attorney Harold Lichten, introduced what he hoped to be a key piece of evidence – a handwritten note from BU’s hockey coach, Brian Durocher, which read “Mike, stuck to my initial plan of 2 young ladies. That being said, I wish you luck @ BC while also thanking you for your time and interest.”
Lichten, a veteran affirmative action attorney, told the Boston Globe that “This would be no different than a highly qualified woman applying to be an assistant men’s coach and being denied because she’s a woman.”
Just as damaging was an email, where Durocher wrote to Cox that, “between us, I feel a slight amount of pressure to strongly consider two females. I wish I could say different but I would rather put my cards on the table than leave you in the dark. I am not closing the door and people like you always make things difficult.”
Lawrence Elswit, associate general counsel at BU, told the Globe that he found it “extremely hard to imagine that a job was given or not given to a candidate because of gender, particularly given the quality of our hockey program.’I know that the university was looking for the best coach, the most talented coach, to take the women’s team up a couple of levels.”
Further bolstering Cox’s argument is the fact that he was an assistant coach for Harvard University’s women’s hockey team as well as four years in the same position at Northeastern University’s women’s hockey team, prior to his one-year stint as the assistant women’s coach at Boston College.


Articles in Current Issue