Iona coach wrongfully fired?

Some fun facts about Iona College:

Location: New Rochelle, NY.
Mascot: Gaels
Motto: Fight the good fight.
Enrollment: Approx. 4,800.
Type: Private and Catholic
Notable Alumni: Don McLean, the man behind “American Pie.”
Skeletons in Closet: Looks down upon Social Sciences, no quad, Dean of Students roots for Fordham, Gael looks like a leprechaun, athletic officials might be racist.

If there’s any validity in this story, perhaps Iona officials didn’t get the memo about Civil Rights.

Nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit against Iona College alleging wrongful termination based on his marriage to a black woman, former men’s basketball assistant coach Craig Holcomb has been granted the opportunity to state his case in front of a jury.

A three-judge panel decided Holcomb was entitled to prove an interracial marriage did motivate Iona to fire him, noting it was the first time it had concluded an employer could potentially violate the Civil Rights Act by dismissing an employee based on association with a person of another race.

Holcomb contends his 2001 marriage to Pamela Gauthier was viewed within the college as a detriment to fundraising, and says it played a role in the school ultimately firing him.

Iona maintains there were a number of problems on and off the court, that prompted the firing.

Holcomb had helped coach the Gaels to a winning record in all but one of his seasons and guided the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Yes. Problems on the court.

Holcomb says Iona former AD Rich Petriccione verbalized a racial bias on numerous occasions. Witnesses testified Petriccione used the “n” word and other slurs in reference to members of the basketball team and staff members at the college.

Holcomb testified Petriccione offered an offensive remark in February 2000 when asked whether a wedding invitation had been received. According to court documents, Petriccione responded by asking if Holcomb was, “really going to marry that Aunt Jemima?”

Like he was going to marry a bottle of syrup. Pffft.

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3 Responses

  1. Yikes, this crap is going on at a Division I University in 2000? Iona better settle or it will be a bigger joke than it is now.

  2. Thank you Wikipedia:

    The Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group which originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man. They are speakers of the Goidelic (or Gaelic) languages – Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Manx Gaelic. The Gaelic languages are a branch of the Insular Celtic languages of Great Britain and Ireland. The other branch of Insular Celtic is Brythonic.

    Many people who do not speak fluent Gaelic consider themselves to be “Gaels” in a broader sense because of their ancestry and heritage.[10]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaels

  3. Looks like the coach has a real case. This NY Post article talks about what a great recruiter Craig Holcomb was
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/01172007/sports/woe__iona__sports_lenn_robbins.htm

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