A former assistant basketball coach at Drake University is suing the school and the head basketball coach for allegedly forcing her into a resignation because she is gay.
Courtney Graham claims that head coach Jennie Baranczyk alienated Graham and pressured her to resign after learning her assistant coach was gay.
The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines claims that Baranczyk sent Graham home multiple times without explanation, excluded her from team meetings and scouting trips, and stripped her of job duties until the only remaining tasks she had were similar to those of an intern. Baranczyk also shared information with other Drake employees and "gossiped" about medication and therapy Graham received for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the lawsuit. The brain disorder can cause inattentiveness and impulsive behavior.
The lawsuit also claims that the school and possibly even Baranczyk herself have blocked Graham’s future job prospects by floating bad information about her.
If true, this is a disgrace for the school and women’s basketball program. Either way, it shouldn’t be any surprise that things like this are happening in women’s basketball. The percentage of women coaching women’s basketball programs at the collegiate level has been cut in half over the last four decades, and lesbians continue to fear reprisal from their athletic department if they come out.
We’ll be watching this one closely.