Ex-track aide files discrimination complaint

The+University+of+Iowa+Campus+looking+west+from+Old+Capitol+and+the+Pentacrest.

Tom Jorgensen

The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

By Courtney Baumann
[email protected]

A former Iowa track assistant has filed a gender-discrimination case against the University of Iowa, claiming the university asked specifically for a female coach to be hired for the assistant track position.

Mike Scott, who now coaches at Missouri State, held an 11-month interim position as an assistant at Iowa. The job was given to him after two earlier searches failed and with the understanding that the search would continue after the season was over, according to the Associated Press.

A June 4, 2013, email attained by AP, Layne Anderson, who was head coach of track and field at the time, said the search for a female coach was a university mandate.

“It is once again largely driven by the mandate from the administration to hire a female [qualified to them being optional — but not to myself or Wiz],” wrote Anderson, referring to former program director Larry Wieczorek.

Additionally, Anderson states in the email that administration had rejected an “ideal” male candidate.

For the new search, the description of the job was changed, and Scott claims it disqualified him from the position because the UI was looking for a coach with distance experience. The description was again changed and to be more generalized and Scott applied. He did not get an interview.

The university released a statement in regards to details released by the AP, stating, “In all searches conducted by the university, there is a commitment to recruit a diverse pool of qualified candidates. If a search pool does not reflect diversity, it is not uncommon for a search to be delayed and additional candidates recruited.

“In the end, the Athletics Department hired the assistant coach it deemed the most qualified for the position.”

The civil lawsuit is filed for lost wages and emotional distress, with trial scheduled in May.

The UI has faced two other gender-discrimination cases recently. Dismissed Iowa field-hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum has filed a wrongful termination suit after being relieved of her duties in August 2014. She has since filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

AP contributed to this report.

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