A former basketball player for Southern Methodist University in Dallas is suing the school and her coach for $2 million. Jennifer Colli claims that her scholarship was revoked after she complained that the coach made references to her sexual orientation.
Colli, who told the Dallas Morning News that she dated another player on the team, alleges that coach Rhonda Rompola asked about her sexual orientation on several occasions, a claim supported by a signed statement from four other players. She says that after she complained about Rompola to the athletic director in 2006, her scholarship was revoked for reasons of “serious misconduct.” Athletic director Steve Orsini told The Advocate that her claims cannot be verified.
When she first joined the team in 2005, Colli says she heard the coach announce her disapproval of the several lesbian relationships on the squad.
Colli lost an appeal to regain her scholarship. Despite her solid record in the guard position, she says that her attempts to transfer to other teams have been hampered by the experience with Rompola at SMU.
The athlete is quoted as saying “It was hard to go to somebody and feel like you’re a liar.” SMU responded they stand by their findings and will address these issues in court.