Lawsuit accusing St. Joseph, Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun of sexual discrimination dismissed

A lawsuit accusing St. Joseph men’s basketball coach and Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun of sexual discrimination and harassment was dismissed on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Former assistant athletic director Jaclyn Piscitelli filed a lawsuit against the school last year, per the report, claiming she was fired after complaining about the conduct of the men in the athletic department, including Calhoun. The lawsuit also named associate head coach Glen Miller.

Piscitelli alleged that Calhoun once called her “hot” and forced her to clean up the coffee grounds that he had spilled. She also claimed, per the report, that she was “belittled” by other male members of the athletic department — whom she said received preferential treatment and would “frequently leave work to play golf with Calhoun during the workday.”

The lawsuit was dismissed on Friday after a judge found they were improperly brought under Title IX. Piscitelli’s attorneys said they may appeal the ruling, and that she will be pursuing claims under another section of federal civil rights law, per the Associated Press

Calhoun, 78, came out of retirement in 2017 and led St. Joseph to a 26-3 record while reaching the Division III NCAA tournament this past season. The legendary coach spent 40 seasons coaching at Northeastern and UConn, and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2005. He led the Huskies to four Final Four appearances and two national titles during his tenure, and compiled 889 total wins in his career — the fourth-most in history among Division I men’s coaches. 

Calhoun strongly denied the allegations against him in a statement last year when the lawsuit was first filed. 

“I firmly and unequivocally, at no time, knowingly treated any woman unfairly because of her gender,” he said, via the Hartford Courant. “In addition, let me be clear, I have never treated any woman inappropriately.”

Former UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun talks to his team before tip-off in his debut as the coach of the University of St. Joseph Blue Jays in their opening game of the 2018 season. (Cloe Poisson/Tribune News Service/Getty Images)

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