DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former Drake assistant Courtney Graham has sued Bulldogs basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk and the university, claiming she was forced to resign after her homosexuality became public.
In her recently filed federal lawsuit, Graham alleged that Baranczyk slowly stripped Graham of her duties as assistant head coach after she brought her girlfriend -- now her wife -- to a home game in November 2014.
According to Graham, Baranczyk told her she "was not acting like herself" and forced her to take time off shortly after Baranczyk learned of Graham's sexual orientation. Graham also alleged that she was subsequently left out of team meetings and scouting trips and subjected to hostile interactions at work.
Graham said she was asked to resign in May 2015 without reason, and that she ultimately resigned under duress roughly three weeks later.
Graham's lawsuit alleges sexual orientation discrimination, two counts of retaliation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and harassment.
Drake released a statement Wednesday denying Graham's allegations. The university said Graham made similar claims in a complaint to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Drake said the commission dismissed Graham's complaint because it didn't believe that further investigation would reveal that Graham was discriminated against.
"Drake University and head women's basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk have a strong commitment to diversity, tolerance and non-discrimination," the Drake statement said. "Consistent with university policy regarding personnel matters and out of respect to the parties involved, we will not provide further comment."
Baranczyk was a standout player at nearby Dowling Catholic High who then played at Iowa. Baranczyk is now in her fifth year at Drake and recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16.