Friday, October 21, 2005

A little something is being done

Not happy with the response from Penn State administrators, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has decided to sue the university on behalf of former player Jen Harris who was dismissed from the team last March, allegedly because coach Rene (rhymes with weenie) Portland thought she was gay. The suit was actually triggered by Portland's public response to the allegations initially made by the NCLR. Portland launched a character attack against Harris citing her poor basketball performance (she was one of the team's top scorers) and poor grades (she had a 3.0 GPA when she left PSU). I checked out some of the message boards where Penn fans have been posting about this issue. Mostly they all adore the homophobic Portland and think Harris is a whiner out to get some money--though there are some sound minds pointing out that Portland's track record on the issue of lesbians in sport is not pristine. Not surprising responses. Fans like their winning teams and their winning coaches and in the name of winning and this weird conception of "tradition" they will support egregious behaviors that would not be tolerated elsewhere.
There will be some interesting things to watch about this case. One, the NCLR is citing a Title IX violation for the sex discrimination part. I wonder if this will work. Apparently it has been successful at the high school level but untested in collegiate waters. And second, when will PSU administrators reach their breaking point and decide that the negative publicity Portland continually generates and the PR work they have to do as a result is not worth her alleged talent as a coach?

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