September 21, 2017

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Iowa to pay $6.5M to settle landmark sports bias lawsuits

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa will pay $6.5 million to settle discrimination lawsuits filed by former athletic administrator Jane Meyer and her partner, former women’s field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum.

The school agreed in settlements released Friday to pay Meyer $2.33 million, Griesbaum $1.49 million and $2.68 million to the Des Moines law firm that represented them.

Jurors this month found that school officials discriminated against Meyer based on her gender and sexual orientation, retaliated against her for speaking out and paid her less than a male counterpart. They awarded $1.45 million in damages in what advocates for women in college athletics called a landmark verdict.

The settlement avoids a June trial in a lawsuit brought by Griesbaum, whose 2014 firing by athletic director Gary Barta was center to both cases.

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