Lisa Howe isn’t the only university athletics coach allegedly getting the shaft because she’s gay. Katie Brenny, 30, took a job at the University of Minnesota to assist the coach of it’s women’s golf team, but not a week after starting she was remanded to a desk job. Because she likes the ladies?
That’s what she’ll claim in a lawsuit against the university if current negotiations turn south, her lawyers say. The problem? The $44k/year gig — which carried the description that Brenny would “assist [the official] with all duties” and was supposed to involve recruiting, training, and traveling — turned into a paperwork shuffling post a week into her tenure.
The school flatly denies targeting Brenny — a former state high school golf champion — because she’s a lesbian. Then how did she arrive on campus only to find out she’d be doing a different job? “Her particular job responsibilities were discussed with her before she took the job,” insists Minnesota’s counsel Mark Rotenberg. The Star Tribune reports the lawsuit would claim Brenny’s state anti-discrimination laws (based on sexual orientation) were violated and subjected her to “a hostile work environment,” according to her attorney Donald Chance Mark Jr. And while he won’t reveal what evidence he has to prove his case, he insists it’s there if they need to go to trial.
In Brenny’s place is the relative of John Harris, the school’s first-year director of golf who learned Brenny is gay. He’s the one that’s responsible for her demotion. Harris’ relative, meanwhile, does not have a bachelor’s degree, as all Minnesota staffers are required to have; Brenny does have one. (Harris, a two-time All-American golf champ and Minnesota golf legend, denies the allegations.)
Brenny resigned her post after two months on the job. Her end goal: a financial settlement from the school.