Former UM Lady Griz basketball head coach sues UM

MISSOULA, Mont. - Former head coach for the University of Montana's Lady Griz Basketball Team, Shannon Schweyen is taking action against the school for sex discrimination.

The complaint was filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Missoula, and comes after UM didn't renew Schweyen's contract in the Spring of 2020. 

In the documents, the former coach claims that UM athletic Director Kent Haslam wrongly terminated Schweyen's employment because two of her players decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal, while other male coaches were not fired when their players did the same.

Schweyen has spent nearly her entire adult life with the Lady Griz Program, including four years as head coach. The case claims UM paid the Men's head coach, Travis DeCuire 20% more in his first year than they paid Schweyen in her first year, despite doing the same jobs.

The court docs also state Haslam favored DeCuire's men's basketball program and allowed DeCuire's apparent disrespect towards female coaches to continue. The documents state that it reflects an 'intent and motive to discriminate against the former head coach based on sex. 

However, UM's Director of Strategic Communications, Dave Kuntz, said the University disagrees.

"The University of Montana strongly disagrees with the allegations made in this complaint and going forward we'll defend this institution in the appropriate forms," Kuntz said.

In the documents, Schweyen said after the 2019-2022 season, she was told by Haslam that the Athletic Department would extend her contract for two more years. But, less than a month later, Haslam told her the contract would not be renewed.

In the case, Schweyen also requested that she's reinstated to head coach and demands a trial by jury.

ABC/Fox reached out to Schweyen for comment and she responded with 'not at this time.' 

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