RENO " A lawyer for former Nevada soccer coach Terri Patraw said Monday she will reject the university's offer to pay her $151,000 to settle lawsuits she filed claiming she was fired for reporting NCAA rules violations at the school.
Kent Robinson, a lawyer representing the university, filed the settlement offer on Friday in Washoe County District Court on behalf of the defendants named in Patraw's suits school president Milton Glick, athletic director Cary Groth and the Nevada System of Higher Education.
"This is not an admission of liability and is not an admission that the plaintiff has filed viable claims against the defendants," Robinson wrote in the offer. He said it was made in compliance with Nevada Supreme Court rules requiring litigants to try to resolve their cases.
Jeff Dickerson, a lawyer representing Patraw, said she intends to go forward withwith a trial scheduled to begin May 11.
"She has no intention of accepting this, as it does not come close to reflecting the actual harm which will be proven to the jury," Dickerson told the Reno Gazette-Journal in an e-mail on Monday. "We are strong and ready to ask the jury for just compensation.
"We are sure the jury will agree $150,000 is not just compensation for what the university has done to Terri's career, something it did for no reason other than to retaliate for her reporting violations," Dickerson said.
Patraw was hired as the head womens soccer coach in 2004, and school officials accepted her resignation in August 2007.
She said she retracted her resignation -- which she said she made only as a tool to seek a higher salary, but school declined her offer.
Patraw filed several lawsuits soon after, which were consolidated into a single case, claiming that she was forced out because she reported violations of federal Title IX rules, which require gender equity in athletics, and alleged violations of National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations.
School officials denied that claim, and said they accepted her resignation
because they had become increasingly concerned about her job performance,
and because they were unhappy with her alleged inability to deal with
adversity, according to UNR lawyers.
School officials also were concerned about problems that had arisen between
Patraw and a former assistant basketball coach, the lawyers said. The two
had been involved in a relationship that ended with accusations of alleged
stalking, they said.
Robinson told Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan last week that Patraw
took money from Taylor in exchange for not reporting recruiting violations.
Patraw said that is not true. She said Taylor gave her money to avoid a
defamation suit she had threatened based on allegedly false statements he
made about her after they broke up.