UConn is paying a quarter-million dollars to seven women in athletics, including three basketball coaches, alleged by U.S. Labor Dept. to have been underpaid

By Joel Alderman

Three female members of coach Gino Auriemma’s 2014 coaching staff for women’s basketball and four others at the University of Connecticut are being compensated a total of $249,539 as a result of a conclusion by the U.S. Labor Department that UConn underpaid them compared to what they were giving to men in similar positions that fiscal year (UConn Today, Oct. 21,. 2020). The investigation took three and a half years to complete.

They were identified by the government agency as two law professors and five women who hold the title of Specialist IA and Specialist IIA in the school’s athletic department.

The three basketball associate or assistant coaches are all well known to Huskey hoop fans. They are Chris Dailey, Shea Ralph, and Marisa Moseley. Another in the group, though not a coach, is Sarah Darras, the director of women’s basketball operations. She has been at the university since 1994 and will be beginning her 27th season there.

“Not due to gender” claimed UConn

UConn maintained the pay disparities were “not due to gender,” according to Stephanie Reitz, a spokesperson in the communications department. She claimed the “seven cases each had individual complexities that were unique to those employees.”

But the Labor Department said it still found significant pay disparities “even when legitimate factors affecting pay were taken into account.” As a result, UConn entered into a Compliance Agreement with the Department of Labor.

The government review was not as the result of a complaint but a matter of routine. It took three years and three months to complete.

Reitz said that one of the women has already received $92,289, The others will get from $5,000 to $50,000, according to the settlement.

How much they were paid for the year

Chris Dailey, a familiar figure along with Auriemma on the Huskies’ bench, had received $313,00 during the fiscal year that ended in June 2014, state records show. She played on the Rutgers national champions in 1980 and has been on the Connecticut staff since 1985.

Shea Ralph made $272,000. She is a 2001 graduate, a member of the 2000 NCAA National Championship team, and an All-American during her undergraduate years in Storrs. She is in her 14th season as an assistant coach.

Marisa Moseley was paid $200,600. She is now coaching at her alma mater, Boston Univ.

Information for Darras’ earnings was not immediately available.

What the women received was not enough, according to the Labor Department. The amounts were compared to what the male assistant coaches received that year. They are no longer at Storrs nor is the then head coach, Kevin Ollie, who was fired in March 2018. That is another story.

What the men got

Now let us examine what the male coaches made in 2014 (all figures rounded off for clarity).

Glen Miller is now the associate head coach at the Univ of St. Joseph working with his old boss Jim Calhoun. He was making $312,600 for the fiscal year, slightly less than Dailey.
Karl Hobbs, presently the associate head coach at Rutgers, was the beneficiary of $286,600.

Ricky Moore, a member of UConn’s 2014 national champions, is not coaching anywhere at this time. He was getting $259,600.

Another perspective

Ranking the pay from high to low, we developed the following chart.










Is the Labor Department exaggerating?

Perhaps the Labor Department is making too much of a big deal when it claimed the disparities were ”significant.” Nevertheless. UConn has agreed not to fight it and says in the future it will eliminate the possibility of gender discrimination in pay.

So why did UConn agree to the settlement? Reitz said “the University felt it was in everyone’s best interest to resolve the matter and move forward.” On the other side of the controversy, the director of the Labor Department’s Federal Contact Compliance Programs, Craig Leen, said the office is satisfied that the University of Connecticut “has addressed the pay issues found in our review.”

The quarter-million is substantial but it may turn out to be a drop in the bucket. The university has said it absorbed more than $35 million in reductions since its budget went into effect in July and that it will request $28 million from the state as a one-time COVID bridge allocation (UConn Today, Sept. 30, 2020).

We have a question

In the long run, who pays the $249, 539 to the ladies?

Let us guess.

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