University President Bans Fired Coach From Campus

Jan 4, 2008

The president of the University of Nevada, Reno has instituted a campus ban on the school’s former women’s soccer coach, who sued last August, alleging that she was fired after reporting several injustices within the athletic department.
Terri Patraw claimed in Washoe County District Court that she was fired in retaliation for reporting NCAA rules violations within the athletic department. She also alleged that she made sexual harassment complaints to UNR officials, including complaints about “a coach making embarrassing comments and sexually harassing remarks invading (Patraw’s) privacy.” Patraw also filed an administrative whistleblower complaint with the Nevada Department of Personnel.
Named defendants in the lawsuit include the school, Athletic Director Cary Groth, school lawyer Mary Dugan and the Nevada System of Higher Education.
University President Milton Glick instituted the ban following an incident at a university event, according to a university spokesperson, who declined to elaborate.
“I take this action to protect life, limb and property and ensure maintenance of order,” Glick wrote in a letter. “Your presence on campus as of will constitute trespass.”
Patraw’s lawyer, Jeffrey Dickerson, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that Glick’s order “demonstrates that whistleblowing about gender discrimination in athletic programs and NCAA betting finally hit the president’s ear. His ear hurts now, and he wants the whistle to stop. This is a heavy-handed attempt to show who is boss. Terri had been attending games to show her continuing support for the women’s athletic teams. The boss has stopped that.”
The whistleblowing the attorney was referring to centered Patraw’s allegations that the men’s teams routinely are given priority over women’s teams in the use of athletic facilities at UNR and allegations that golf coach Rich Merritt committed NCAA violations. Specifically, she alleged that Merritt gambled on college sports, gave money to players and gave one of his personal frequent flier tickets to a player.
Merritt did miss the Wolf Pack’s first three tournaments this fall because of a suspension for NCAA violations. But UNR officials said his violations only had to do with buying a meal for a player and giving a player a plane ticket. UNR officials said they investigated allegations that Merritt had bet on college games, but no evidence was found to support that accusation.
In a statement, Glick said that “The allegations that have been reported to us have been appropriately investigated, addressed and reported to the NCAA. If more are made known, they, too, will be investigated, addressed and reported.”
In 2006, Patraw coached the Wolf Pack to their best record ever and first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.


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