Ex-ULL Coach’s Discrimination Claim Goes to Trial

Jun 8, 2007

A Louisiana state appeals court has reversed a trial court’s decision, which had dismissed the discrimination claim of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s former head football coach.
The ruling by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal means that the claim of Jerry Lee Baldwin, who alleged that former ULL Athletic Director Nelson Schexnayder withheld money, equipment and staff because he did not want an African American as head coach, may go to trial.
Schexnayder and other university officials had claimed that Baldwin was let go in 2001 because of his poor recod on the field — 6-27 over three seasons.
East Baton Rouge Parish Judge Donald Johnson threw out the discrimination claim in 2005, finding that “the university separated its employment relationship with Mr. Baldwin for reasons that are not illegal or unlawful.”
In reinstating the claim, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal found that “the facts asserted by both Mr. Baldwin and ULL are open to different interpretations.”
Baldwin, who is also seeking damages for breach of contract and infliction of emotional distress, is represented by attorney G. Karl Bernard of New Orleans, who said the trial has been tentatively set for October in Baton Rouge, where the case will be heard because the defendants include the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.


Articles in Current Issue