St. Joseph Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun Named in Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit

St. Joseph University's basketball coach Jim Calhoun was recently named in a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by the former associate athletic director, per the Hartford Courant. In this federal lawsuit against the school, both Calhoun and longtime assistant Glen Miller allegedly turned the athletic department into a "male-dominated, hostile work environment."

Jaclyn Piscitelli, who filed the suit, also names former athletic director Bill Cardarelli. She reportedly brought allegations against Calhoun, and Cardarelli failed to act. Piscitelli was fired from her job in June 2019 and was replaced by Josh Ingham, the sports information director.

In this 13-page complaint, there were several examples of what Piscitelli said was degrading treatment by Calhoun and Miller toward females. She alleges that the coach once said that she was "hot," while Miller alleged he would "swipe left" in reference to the dating app Tinder. Another example provided in the lawsuit was an alleged "K-cup Incident."

Calhoun 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 Piscitelli clean them up, stating that if he made such a mess at home, his wife would clean up after him, the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, Cardarelli allegedly saw the incident take place. He reportedly expressed to Piscitelli that he found the scenario amusing and that he did not see anything wrong with Calhoun's behavior.

“Jackie Piscitelli had a job she loved and excelled at in an environment in which she generally felt respected and valued as a professional," said Magdalena Witkor of the law firm Madsen, Prestley and Parenteau. "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."

The Hartford Courant has reached out to both St. Joseph University, as well as Calhoun. A spokesperson, Diana Sousa, said that the university does not comment on pending litigation.

Calhoun, on the other hand, said that he had no comment when reached by telephone.

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A former head coach at the University of Connecticut, Calhoun won three national titles prior to his retirement, which led to his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Calhoun was approached by Cardarelli to come out of retirement to run the Division III men’s basketball program at St. Joseph in 2017 after the school announced plans to become co-ed.

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty

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