Higher education

University of Iowa settles gender discrimination lawsuit with former track coach

Michael Scott claims he was illegally passed over for a job because he's a man

Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa has paid $200,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit by a former volunteer and assistant track coach.

Michael Scott alleged in a lawsuit filed in October 2014 in Polk County he was passed over for a job coaching the combined men’s and women’s track team because of a UI Athletic Department mandate a woman be hired for the job, the Associated Press has reported.

UI Spokeswoman Jeneane Beck confirmed Wednesday the university has settled the lawsuit for $200,000, about 40 percent of which went to attorney fees.

“The university interviewed both male and female applicants during the selection process and the Athletic Department hired the person who it deemed most qualified,” Beck said. “The university does not agree with Mr. Scott that he was discriminated against based upon his gender, but resolution of disputes by mutual agreement, after mediation, is beneficial for all involved and brings the matter to a close.”

The UI is also facing criticism about gender discrimination from a former female coach and student-athletes.

Four UI field hockey players and former players filed a federal civil rights complaint in January 2015 against the UI alleging their rights to gender equity were violated when the UI fired coach Tracey Griesbaum in August 2014.

The women allege the UI fired Griesbaum for using the same coaching methods as male coaches and undermining the rights of female student athletes to receive a similar experience as their male counterparts.


Griesbaum has also filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission alleging discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.


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