New Rutgers AD faced sexual discrimination lawsuit while at Louisville in 2008

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As if things weren’t already bad enough for Rutgers.

On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Times dropped another bombshell on the Scarlett Knight’s newly-hired athletic director.

Back in 2008, when Hermann was still with Louisville, a female assistant track and field coach named Mary Banker was fired three weeks after complaining to Hermann about discriminatory treatment that she had to deal with as a member of the staff. According to the complaint, Banker was upset that coaches would use terms directed at the players that were derogatory towards women, and that since she was a women, she was forced to set up party tables and make the food arrangements for recruiting visits.

Where Hermann gets involved is detailed here:

Banker, according to court filings by her lawyer, Bryan Cassis of Louisville, complained to Hermann about the “discriminatory treatment” and offensive comments during a brunch at a restaurant in February 2008. After the brunch, Hermann e-mailed Banker, saying: “Thank you … We’re lucky to have you … You’re a change agent … don’t let their limitations take you out of the game … thank god you’re here,” according to legal filings.

But as a result of her complaint the suit said she faced retaliation and was treated differently by Mann.

[…]

In a filing with the Supreme Court, Cassis wrote that after Banker’s complaint to human resources “Hermann called Banker into her office and flat-out told her, ‘You should not have gone to HR.’ The lawsuit also said Hermann told Banker: “I don’t know how I’m going to restore trust in you amongst staff now,” and “I don’t know how you’re going to work downstairs after this.”

Lawyers for the Louisville athletics department said that Banker’s dismissal stemmed from concerns by Hermann and Mann, the head coach, about her performance. The lawyers wrote in a filing with the Kentucky Supreme Court that Banker signed only one student-athlete and that she made fewer recruiting phone calls than were required, and that she was “often rude and confrontational” during weekly meetings with Mann.

Banker was initially awarded $300,000, but a Kentucky appeals court overruled that finding. Banker is taking the case to the Supreme Court.

Things could not have gone worse for Rutgers since firing head coach Mike Rice back in April. Since then, they’ve been forced to fire Tim Pernetti, an AD that did so much for that school’s athletic program. They then hired a basketball coach in Eddie Jordan that hadn’t actually received a degree from Rutgers. And over the weekend, news broke that Hermann was on the wrong end of a revolt by her players as a volleyball coach at Tennessee for coaching in the same style as Rice.

This looks bad for Rutgers.

I’ve got a feeling this won’t be the last you hear of it.

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You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

John Calipari reminds Kentucky fans to remain classy in defeat

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Before traveling to Phoenix for the Final Four festivities, Kentucky head coach John Calipari used his Twitter account in an effort to diffuse the anger members of Big Blue Nation have directed at a referee following a heartbreaking loss in the Elite Eight.

In the days following the season-ending loss to North Carolina, some fans — not all — have harassed official John Higgins. They’ve flooded the Facebook page of his roofing business, leaving negative reviews and lowering his company’s star rating. Some have gone even more extreme, going as far as sending death threats over the phone.

Based on the replies, some have received the message. Others haven’t. The latter, despite it being a small but vocal group, can, unfortunately, paint a fan base with a broad brush.

Mark Emmert: NCAA Board of Governors to meet ‘in the next few days’ to determine N.C.’s tournament standing

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Late on Wednesday night, the state of North Carolina reached an agreement to repeal the controversial and discriminatory House Bill 2 law, which is commonly known as the bathroom bill.

The NCAA had given the state a deadline of Thursday morning to make a change in this law or they would miss out on hosting NCAA tournament game until the 2022 season, so it’s not hard to connect the dots here. The pressure the NCAA asserted on the state helped create a change.

The question is just how much of a change, as many believe that the repeal does not do enough to change what is discriminatory about the law.

“What distinguished North Carolina,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said, “there were four distinct problems that the board had with that bill, and they removed some of them but not all of them. If you removed two or three of them, is that enough?”

The NCAA Board of Governors have stretched out the process of determining future tournament sites as far as possible, Emmert said, meaning that a decision on this new bill will be made soon.

“Because this happened on such short notice, we have to find a time to get together with the board, and that will probably happen in the next few days,” Emmert said, and in those meetings, the board “will determine if this [new] bill is sufficient change.”

“I’m personally very pleased they have a bill to debate and discuss. Hopefully we can be in a place where we can announce the board’s decision early next week.”

Gonzaga’s Mark Few named AP Coach of the Year

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Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has added to his program’s banner season with an individual award, being named AP Coach of the Year on Thursday afternoon.

Few led the Bulldogs to their first Final Four. The Zags enter the national semifinal with a 36-1 record. Up until Feb. 25, they were flirting with a perfect season. A loss to BYU is currently the only blemish on their season.

Few also won his 500th career game during the course of the 2016-17 season. Since 2014, two coaches from outside the major conferences have earned his honor. Gregg Marshall was named AP Coach of the Year in 2014 after leading the Shockers to a perfect regular season.

This was a very competitive race this season. Sean Miller lost two players expected to be key pieces this season — and had Allonzo Trier miss 19 games — but guided Arizona to the Pac-12 Tournament championship. Jay Wright led Villanova to another Big East title despite two cornerstone pieces — Ryan Arcidiancono and Daniel Ochefu — gone from last season’s national championship team. For a while, Baylor’s Scott Drew seemed to be the favorite. The Bears didn’t receive a single vote in the preseason top-25 poll but went on to earn a No. 1 ranking.

Few’s season continues on Saturday against South Carolina.

Frank Mason is named AP Player of the Year

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Kansas point guard Frank Mason III was named the AP Player of the Year on Thursday afternoon.

The senior floor general for the Jayhawks headlined the AP All-American team, which included UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, Villanova Swingman Josh Hart, Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan and North Carolina small forward Justin Jackson.

Mason averaged 20.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and shot 49 percent from behind the 3-point line during the 2016-17 season. He helped guide Kansas to its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular season title.

He becomes the fourth senior in a row to win the award, preceded by Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminksy and Creighton’s Doug McDermott.

He had previously been named player of the year by NBC Sports.

TJ Leaf declares for the 2017 NBA Draft

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UCLA freshman forward TJ Leaf announced he is declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday afternoon.

The 6-foot-10 Leaf averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. His shooting numbers were also impressive, connecting on 62 percent of his field goals, including 27-of-58 from beyond the 3-point arc.

This news comes six days after Lonzo Ball officially announced he had played his last game at UCLA. Neither move is shocking, with Ball in the running for the No. 1 overall pick and Leaf also pegged as a first round selection.

The Bruins will have quite a bit of turnover next season with guards Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton exhausting their eligibility. UCLA head coach Steve Alford has a six-man recruiting class set to come in to help replenish the roster. It’s led by versatile forward Kris Wilkes, point guard Jaylen Hands, and big men Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.