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Gay ex Drake assistant sues, says she was forced to quit


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former Drake assistant Courtney Graham has sued Bulldogs coach Jennie Baranczyk and the university, claiming she was forced to resign after her homosexuality became public.

In her recently filed federal lawsuit, Graham alleged that Baranczyk slowly stripped her of her duties as assistant head coach after she brought her girlfriend and now wife to a home game in November 2014.

According to Graham, Baranczyk told her she “was not acting like herself” and forced her to take time off shortly after Baranczyk learned of Graham’s sexual orientation. Graham also alleged that she was subsequently left out of team meetings and scouting trips and subjected to hostile interactions at work.

Baranczyk and athletic director Sandy Hatfield-Clubb, through spokesman Ty Patton, declined to comment. Patton said that the university’s policy is not to comment on personnel matters or pending lawsuits.

Graham said she was asked to resign in May 2015 without reason, and that she ultimately resigned under duress roughly three weeks later. Graham’s lawsuit alleges sexual orientation discrimination, two counts of retaliation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and harassment.

Baranczyk was a standout player at nearby Dowling Catholic High who then played at Iowa. Baranczyk is now in her fifth year at Drake and recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16.