ROUNDBALL DAILY

Lawsuit accusing Jim Calhoun of sexual harassment and discrimination is dismissed on a technicality

Editor’s note: See our original story when the litigation began

By Joel Alderman

Jim Calhoun and Glenn Miller, named, but not as defendants, in a lawsuit against the University of St. Joseph (USJ), have prevailed albeit on a technicality.

Although the federal case on one level is over, there is a distinct possibility the case will be taken to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Moreover, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is still to render its decision, and it may be months before that happens.

The basis for the dismissal, which was rendered on June 18th by U.S. District Court judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport CT, was that Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, under which the suit was brought, provides no private remedy for employment discrimination claims. But she conceded that there is currently a split of authority on this issue among Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Background

The action was started last October by former USJ assistant athletic Director Jaclyn Piscitelli, alleging that the Hall of Fame coach and Miller, his assistant, made inappropriate comments to her. Piscitelli also claimed she was fired by the school because of making the complaints.

Calhoun, now 78, is the former coach at the University of Connecticut who came back from a six-year retirement to lead the hoop program at SJU, a small Division III school in Hartford CT. In the lawsuit, Piscitelli said that Calhoun once called her “hot” and forced her to pick up “K-cups” that were on the floor.

The USJ assistant coach, Miller, held the same position at UConn in Calhoun’s final years there. Piscitelli claimed that Miller said he would “swipe left” if he came across her on the dating app Tinder, where the expression has derogatory connotations of rejection.

The attorney for Piscitelli said they would continue their efforts with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The dispute could also go to the Court of Appeals.

“I have never treated any woman inappropriately”

Calhoun said from the beginning last October, “I firmly and unequivocally, at no time, knowingly treated any woman unfairly because of her gender. In addition, let me be clear, I have never treated any woman inappropriately.”

But the decision in court last week did not go into the merits of the case or exonerate Calhoun, Miller, or the university. The only issue, as far as the judge was concerned, was whether Title IX applied, and she ruled it did not.

It’s almost like a “no-call” in basketball.

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