Investigator sees possibility of bias in Iowa coach’s firing

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An investigator with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission says a former Iowa women’s field hockey coach has a “reasonable possibility” of proving that gender or anti-gay discrimination played a role in her firing.

In a screening decision last month, investigator Benjamin Flickinger concluded that a reasonable person could infer that Tracey Griesbaum suffered discrimination when athletic director Gary Barta fired her in 2014 and that further investigation is warranted.

The university claims Griesbaum was fired over ongoing concerns about the way she treated players.

But Flickinger noted that the university’s investigative report didn’t substantiate any policy violations and that the one incident criticized as unprofessional also involved the assistant coach hired to replace her. He says it’s unclear why that report would have led to Griesbaum’s termination.

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