Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Jan. 22, 2016 — The other shoe

Yesterday, news came down that Ben Flickinger, an investigator with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, found that there was a “reasonable possibility” that the University of Iowa may have violated the rights of former head field hockey coach Tracey Greisbaum when terminating her contract less than a month before the start of the 2014 season, according to the text of a Dec. 2 decision.

The term “reasonable possibility” is one of those terms that you find often in legal arguments, especially when it comes to contract law. It is as important as the term “preponderence of the evidence” when it comes to lawsuits or when it comes to grand jury indictments. It’s the latter of which that is a low threshold, low enough so that, according to the phrase coined by Sol Wachtler, one could easily indict a ham sandwich.

The text of the Flickinger finding, obtained by the Associated Press, shows that he was able to see through the University of Iowa’s allegations of bullying and intemperate behavior that it leveled against the former coach in response to Griesbaum’s initial filing.

“It is unclear why that report would have led to the termination of an employee with over 22 years of successful employment,” Flickinger is quoted as saying.

He also noted that there were a number of men’s coaches who were not disciplined for worse treatment, including a 2011 incident that landed 13 football players in the hospital. The coach at that time, Kirk Ferentz, landed Iowa in the Rose Bowl in the year just past, earning the university somewhere north of $7.4 million.

Where will this go? This finding feeds directly into the paperwork that Greisbaum will need in order to file a lawsuit against the University of Iowa. has learned that the filing is imminent.

Given what is already known about this situation, I think the university shouldn’t be spending the football lucre yet.


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