TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

June 7, 2015 — The federalization of the Greisbaum matter

It was announced Thursday that the Office for Civil Rights in the United States Department of Education was getting starting a Title IX investigation against the University of Iowa in the matter of its firing of head field hockey coach Tracey Greisbaum and at least five other female coaches over the last dozen years.

It’s a watershed moment in this story, which has lingered for the better part of the last year.

That’s because the federal government doesn’t get involved in matters such as these without either a good reason to do so, or unless the right people within the Department of Education knows that they can prove a case.

That will come from a document request that was made by DOE attorney Ann Cook-Graver to University of Iowa President Sally Mason. The request is for notes, interview records, and other documents that the University compiled during an in-house investigation of a gender bias complaint filed by four current University of Iowa field hockey players against the athletic department. The document request also includes all sex discrimination complaints filed by the university since 2012.

The Department of Education’s remedies, in point of fact, are limited even if discrimination can be proven. But the stain of a Title IX finding will give an enormous amount of credence to those who believe that the University of Iowa has treated female coaches differently from the men under its employ.

And as this space has detailed before, the discrimination is pretty stark.

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