On April 9, 2007 the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an en banc ruling in Jennings v. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The decision reinstated the complaint of two UNC female soccer players who alleged that they had been sexually harassed by coach Anson Dorrance while they were on the UNC soccer team, in violation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. The case is not an employment rights case. It nonetheless raises important questions for colleges and universities that sometimes must deal with with the legal problems of employees that have the potential for "spillover effect" into the employment context.
In a related development, the UNC website reports that the litigation was settled as to one player shortly before the Fourth Circuit ruled. The remaing player's case is scheduled for trial in the Fall. The terms of the settlement are (a) an apology the coach, (b) a payment of $70,000, and the coach's agreement to participate in sensitivity training for eight years.