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Incoming RU Athletic Director Involved in Lawsuit

Rich Schultz, Getty Images

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Incoming Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann was involved in a discrimination lawsuit at Louisville, where an assistant track coach said she was fired for complaining about discriminatory treatment.

Mary Banker, an assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach, filed a lawsuit against the University of Louisville Athletic Association, saying she was let go in 2008 after she complained to Hermann and then human resources about allegations of gender and sexual discrimination. Hermann was the executive senior associate athletic director.

The New York Times first reported on details of the suit Tuesday.

Hermann testified at a 2010 jury trial about the dismissal. A jury found in favor of Banker’s claims, awarding her $300,000 for mental and emotional distress. However, the university appealed and the Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned the verdict in February.

The appellate ruling in the case said that, “even in a light most favorable to Banker,” Louisville proved Hermann and the head track coach “had contemplated, if not decided, not to renew Banker’s contract prior to Banker’s complaint to HR.”

The case is now before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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