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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, December 9, 2007

UH track coach drops lawsuit

By Ferd Lewis
Associated Press

Saying that as a result of face-to-face meetings she now has "... great faith that our administrative staff will do the right thing," University of Hawai'i track coach Carmyn James said she is not proceeding with a lawsuit against the school and its athletic director, Herman Frazier.

James filed the suit in Circuit Court in September charging the athletic department had "balanced the UH athletics budget on the back of women's athletics." She had also alleged that Frazier discriminated against her because of her advocacy for gender equity.

She had until Friday, the three-month deadline, to have it served. "I chose not to have it served because ... I have had some very positive and productive meetings with both Herman and Carl (Clapp, associate athletic director)," James said in an e-mail.

UH officials were not immediately available for comment.

James' withdrawal comes at a time when women coaches and administrators have been winning record financial judgments in sexual discrimination suits. Last week, a jury awarded former Fresno State women's basketball coach Stacy Johnson-Klein a $19.1 million verdict. In July, former FSU volleyball coach Lindy Vivas won a $4.52 million award. In October, FSU paid former associate athletic director Diane Milutinovich $3.5 million to settle a separate suit.

James' attorney, Dan Siegel, also represented Vivas and Johnson-Klein. "Despite the fact that other (WAC) coaches are winning millions of dollars as a result of their lawsuits, I am pleased to say that I did not have to fully go down that legal path," James said.

"This wasn't about financial gain," James said.

"As a result of the progress that we've made I have great faith that our administrative staff will do the right thing and that they don't need a jury's input in order to do so," James said.

She said: "Although no changes have immediately occurred, I am very optimistic and confident that things will improve in the near future. Carl has a plan and Herman is very supportive. Together we are going to work more effectively to elevate the quality of the Women's Cross Country and Track & Field program here at UH."

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.