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She created the following rule for the team: According to Brown’s statement, she developed the rule after an assistant coach was fired last August for having an inappropriate relationship with a player.She then collaborated with the school’s Title IX coordinator and athletic director on the rule. USA Today reports that a university investigation found that the players were removed from the team because of their relationship and that they experienced discrimination over their sexual orientation.“A lot of coaches have made rules like this,” according to Helen Carroll, who’s a former championship basketball coach herself and the sports project director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.Carroll says Coach Brown may have overreacted in producing her rule based on incidents that happened in August.That’s the question regarding a recent incident involving the firing of Prairie View A&M University women’s basketball coach Dawn Brown after she suspended two female players from the team because they were dating.The athletes filed a Title IX complaint, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.“The relationship between an assistant coach and a player is completely different than this and should never happen,” says Carroll.“So that’s separate – though I do feel there was an overreaction that Dawn kind of jumped in there and felt like she had to make that rule right away for everybody that had to do with athletics.” Carroll says ‘intra-team dating’ can be allowed, but coaches should have proactive expectations and guidelines in place that foster a good team dynamic.

Is it more important to maintain a good team dynamic, or safeguarding a person’s civil rights?She says those guidelines should apply to all relationship management issues and rules should not be established simply because a player is gay or a lesbian.


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