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IOWA CITY - The University of Iowa Athletics Department has reassigned an associate athletics director four months after firing her longtime partner, Head Field Hockey Coach Tracey Griesbaum.
Athletic Director Gary Barta told coaches in an email Friday he was moving Jane Meyer, senior associate athletics director, out of the Athletics Department because of a potential wrongful-termination lawsuit by Griesbaum.
'Ms. Griesbaum's attorney has publicly stated that she intends to sue the university for her termination and alleged disparity in the treatment of women's and men's athletics at Iowa,” Barta wrote. 'On the advice of the assistant attorney general who is handling the matter, the university will reassign Dr. Meyer to a position outside the Athletic Department until these matters are resolved.”
Meyer would keep her $173,154 salary, but would move to an as-yet-undefined position, said Tom Newkirk, a Des Moines attorney representing Griesbaum.
'It's obviously retaliation, either as an effort to get Tracey to give up her fight or make the return of her partner to her career part of that fight,” Newkirk said Monday.
Barta fired Griesbaum Aug. 4 after several student athletes complained she was verbally abusive and pressured them to compete while injured.
Parents of student-athletes reported their daughters were afraid to raise concerns because Griesbaum's relationship with Meyer, according to Elizabeth Altmaier, a UI psychology professor who served as a faculty adviser to athletics from 2001 to 2011.
Meyer disclosed the relationship to UI Vice President for Human Resources Sue Buckley several years ago, but Buckley decided it did not require a conflict-of-interest review because Meyer was not Griesbaum's supervisor and did not make decisions about her employment status, the UI reported.
Meyer had been senior associate athletics director since 2001, serving as the top administrator for women's sports and overseeing all Athletics facilities projects and operations.
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