WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Former UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun was named in a Title IX discrimination lawsuit against the University of St. Joseph.
The plaintiff, identified as Jaclyn Piscitelli, was hired as the associate athletic director in 2015.
She claims that after the University of St. Joseph allowed men to attend in 2018, and more men were hired for coaching positions, like Calhoun, the athletic department “became a male-dominated, hostile work environment.”
The lawsuit says Piscitelli reported unfair treatment to Vice President of Student Affairs Ken Bedini on numerous occasions throughout the 2018-19 academic year.
However, Piscitelli said the school allowed Calhoun and Glen Miller, who was hired as an assistant coach, “the work environment in the athletic department to one that was openly hostile and disdainful toward women and where women were treated as second class citizens.”
She goes on to say she was treated differently after Calhoun and Miller were hired, saying she was “excluded from participation in activities and denied benefits provided to male employees.”
Piscitelli said before the 2018-19 school year, she had her own office. In the fall of 2018, she then had to share her office with two newly-hired male coaches.
She said when it came to participating in weekly conference calls, which were required to be confidential, she was prevented from doing this while sharing an office. When she brought this concern to the then athletic director, Bill Cardarelli, Piscitelli said he told her to "work in a locker room and take the calls there."
Another alleged instance mentioned in the lawsuit refers to a time when Calhoun had “knocked a number of single-serve coffee “K-cups” onto the floor and stepped on them, creating a mess of coffee grounds and packaging on the floor and made Plaintiff clean them up, stating that if he made such a mess at home, his wife would clean up after him."
In the lawsuit, Piscitelli said Calhoun made a statement to her, saying "Well, you’re certainly hot" using "hot" in its slang usage to mean physically or sexually attractive.
Regarding Glen Miller, Piscitelli said he had made "numerous inappropriate comments" to her, including criticizing her for not being cheerful or smiling enough.
One time, she claims Miller said "I'd swipe left too," which the lawsuit said refers to the popular dating app "Tinder" where users swipe left to reject further contact with another user or swipe right to indicate sexual or romantic interest in another user.
Piscitelli also claims Miller "approached her and said 'you're feisty, I like it,' implying this turned him on sexually."
On June 21, Piscitelli was terminated from her position. When asked if she had done something wrong, she was told "no, we're moving in a new direction."
Cardarelli has since stepped down from the position as athletic director, and a new one was hired on June 24.
In a statement on Wednesday, University of St. Joseph released a statement saying "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."
The attorney for Piscitelli also issued a statement on Wednesday saying "Jackie Piscitelli had a job she loved and excelled at in an environment in which she generally felt respected and valued as a professional. However, that work environment was swiftly and drastically transformed into one that was hostile and demeaning toward women once Jim Calhoun and Glen Miller joined the staff of USJ athletics. Rather than protecting Jackie and her female colleagues from further harassment and discrimination, USJ not only condoned this “boys’ club”, it fired Jackie in retaliation for daring to speak out against it. In addition to the Title IX retaliation lawsuit filed today, we intend to file charges of sex discrimination and retaliation in violation of state and federal law with the CHRO and the EEOC later this. We and our client look forward to vindicating her rights to be free from sex discrimination and illegal retaliation."
Channel 3 has tried to reach Calhoun via the school but has not heard back.
The Associated Press reached out to Calhoun who said "no comment."
Read the full lawsuit here.