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

5 Comments

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.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

 

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.