Lady Griz Schweyen’s former basketball coach sues college

MISSOULA – Former Montana women’s basketball coach Lady Griz, Shannon Schweyen, is suing the university for gender discrimination after UM failed to renew her contract in April 2020.

Schweyen filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missoula on Thursday, November 11. The case was brought before the court of Judge Dana Christensen.

Schweyen claims in the complaint that UM was “in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964″, claiming that UM chose to terminate Schweyen’s employment at the school after “two of his players have decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal.

When athletic director Kent Haslam reversed his decision to extend Coach Schweyen’s contract in April 2020, the only reason he gave for the decision was that two female basketball players had entered the portal of transfer, “says the trial. “He did not fire the male coaches when their players entered the transfer portal in equal and greater numbers. When questioned, Haslam claimed that Schweyen’s team culture was horrible, an obvious pretext for his illegal act. It was sex discrimination. “

Schweyen was the head coach of women’s basketball at UM for four seasons starting in August 2016, where she amassed a record 52-69 overall as well as a 34-42 record in the Big Sky Conference game. Schweyen’s teams were 1-4 at the Big Sky Conference tournament.

In Schweyen’s final year at MU, Lady Griz went 17-13 and 12-8 in the league before losing to northern Arizona to start the conference tournament in what would ultimately be the Schweyen’s last game as head coach.

“After our game at Boise, I had a meeting with our administrator, Kent Haslam. He guaranteed me that my staff and I would be extended for a two-year contract,” Schweyen told MTN Sports on April 1, 2020 . “So we had I started the last three weeks recruiting kids and moving through our program with this message, and then (Wednesday) this afternoon I was informed by Kent that he would not be renewing my contract.”

Schweyen had spent nearly three decades as a coach with Lady Griz after an outstanding playing career. She was hired as a full-time assistant in 1993.

In the complaint, Schweyen directly compares his salary to that of male basketball head coach Travis DeCuire, as well as to turnover from other programs, such as football, and players entering the portal. transfer. Schweyen accuses Haslam of not keeping the men’s coaches on par with his schedule.

In the complaint, Schweyen offered a redress claim, in which she seeks a judgment in her favor, to be reinstated as head coach of Lady Griz, “or to award severance pay instead. “, and to award Schweyen” the lost salary backlog “and starting salary, lost pension benefits, compensatory damages and all compensation and employment benefits she would have received in the absence of discrimination based on sex ”, as well as legal costs and expenses.

Click here to read the court documents associated with the case.


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