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Jim Calhoun named in lawsuit against USJ for sex-discrimination

Hartford

(WTNH) — A former Associate Athletic Director of the University of Saint Joseph has filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit to the university, claiming the athletic department had become a “boys club.”

USJ Men’s Basketball coach Jim Calhoun was one of the many department members mentioned in the lawsuit.

Jaclyn Piscitelli submitted the lawsuit Tuesday, months after she was fired from her job for reasons not specified.

The lawsuit claims the issues started developing after the university started accepting and enrolling male students back in fall of 2018, which led to “the hiring of coaching staff for these new men’s teams.”

The lawsuit names several incidents the plaintiff says she went through, which includes being told to clean up spilled food after, with Calhoun stating “that if he made such a mess at home, his wife would clean up after him.”

Other incidents include being ignored, facing hostility, and working constantly with little time off, “at one point working 23 consecutive days.”

According to the lawsuit, Piscitelli expressed her concerns to the university’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Ken Bedini, numerous times last academic year.

In a statement, USJ told News 8,

“We have received and are reviewing the lawsuit. The University of Saint Joseph takes compliance with all matters relating to Title IX very seriously. The University does not comment on pending litigation.”

University of Saint Joseph

After hearing the news, several student athletes said they were shocked.

“He’s really nice and he’s always a friendly face on campus,” said senior Burkhani Jabari. “It was kind of a surprise, I don’t know. I think he’s a really good person and it’s going to blow over.”

Many of the female athletes said the environment is very nurturing and that everyone is friendly.

“Everyone has each others’ backs with athletics,” said sophomore Nectar Vermette. “I definitely think that if any of us had a problem, we could go to another coach if it was urgent other than our own.”

A News 8 crew went to Piscitellis’ New Britain home. She was unavailable for comment.

The Hartford Courant reported Sunday that, in a statement, Calhoun said, “I firmly and unequivocally, at no time, knowingly treated any woman unfairly because of her gender. In addition, let me be clear: I have never treated any woman inappropriately.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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