Friday, January 09, 2015

While we're on the topic of women's hockey...

...kind of...actually out on a tangent...catch up here:

(via UMD Hockey)

Minnesota/Duluth non-renewed their women's hockey coach, Shannon Miller.

Last month, Miller’s $215,000 contract wasn’t renewed, with the university saying a shrinking budget no longer allows for such a salary. But, with the men’s hockey coach still employed and earning about $20,000 per year more than Miller, some are asking whether the firing was based on her gender as much as her salary.

“Coach Miller was a highly successful coach who has graduated her players, earned the respect of her community and peers, and hasn’t gotten in any trouble or in a scandal,” Nicole LaVoi, associate director of the University of Minnesota's Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women In Sport, said. “I have never in my career in studying women coaches ever heard of a coach like that not being retained because they were being paid too much. It’s kind of a game-changer."

In her sixteen (16) seasons as the Bulldog head coach, the program has been in the NCAA tourney ten (10) times, reached the Frozen Four seven (7) times, and won the national championship five (5) times.

Read the entire article, along with some interesting comments, here.

In a statement earlier this month, Josh Berlo, the university’s athletic director, called Miller’s departure a “financially driven” decision, adding that UMD is “not in a position to sustain the current salary levels of our women’s hockey coaching staff.” Newhall called the justification "weak," saying it's "not hard to see that firing a female coach under the guise of being paid too much where there are other, less successful coaches who are paid more" is gender discrimination.

Mark Nagel, a professor of sports and entertainment management at the University of South Carolina, said a contract not being renewed because a college can no longer afford to pay a coach's salary is "very rare." Whether the gender disparity makes it illegal or not is a more complicated question.

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