Fired Softball Coach Sues University of Louisiana
The petition, filed on Thursday before District Court in Baton Rouge, alleges university, its president, athletics director and deputy director of carrying out a personal attack upon the character of Lotief, discrimination on the basis of his health disabilities, Title IX retaliation and conversion of property.
The 51-page petition also alleges the school of discriminating against female players by not providing monetary support in an equitable fashion and depriving them of a proper athletic facility.
“University released the information without releasing any “exculpatory” evidence, including statements from other players who countered the claims,” Lotief’s attorney Glenn Edwards told KATC News.
“We think it’s gonna be very easy to prove that they (university officials) intentionally defamed and slandered him.”
Meanwhile, the university has disputed the allegations terming them false and baseless, saying the coach was fired for using sexually violent language against athletes and attacking a female coworker physically and verbally.
“Lotief subjected student-athletes and coworkers to a mentally and physically hostile environment. His reprehensible actions violated the University’s Prohibited Sexual Conduct and Violence Free Workplace policies,” the University statement reads.
“He repeatedly berated players with rape and sexual violence references. This lawsuit is more evidence of Michael Lotief’s refusal to accept responsibility for his abusive actions and manipulative behavior that led to his termination.”
The latest lawsuit comes days after nine former softball players filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging gender discrimination at the university.
The players alleged the University of not hiring proper medical training staff and not maintaining a softball field, while indulging in gender-based discriminatory practices in violation of Title IX rights.