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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa has received notification from the Office for Civil Rights that it will investigate a complaint filed by four current or former student-athletes in the sport of field hockey.
The UI respects the Office for Civil Rights jurisdiction and will cooperate fully with the investigation. As the OCR letter indicates, opening the investigation in no way implies that the OCR has made a determination with regard to the merit of the complaint.
The UI’s decision to change leadership in the field hockey program was not related to gender.
UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta decided to remove Tracy Griesbaum after an investigation conducted by the UI Department of Human Resources and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity which did not find violations of specific UI policy, but did describe a team environment of “fear, intimidation, and/or mistreatment by Coach Griesbaum.”
The investigation was in response to multiple complaints of harassment and mistreatment from student-athletes in the field hockey program over a period of several years.
Griesbaum’s employment contract permitted the University of Iowa to terminate her employment without cause which, if acted on, required payment of $200,000 to Griesbaum. The UI terminated Griesbaum’s contract and fulfilled its financial obligation.