It's every manager's worst nightmare. You did the right thing with some problematic employees, but then you got investigated/sued.
Getting sued is a scarlet letter. Without question, it's much better not to get sued, but if you do the right thing and get sued as a result, sometimes you LOOK LIKE A BETTER LEADER THAN OTHERS AROUND YOU.
Such is the case with Missouri Softball Coach Ehren Earleywine, who's had a lot of success at Mizzou but was recently under investigation. Here's a basic rundown of what transpired with the help of reporting from the Kansas City Star:
1. Earleywine had been under investigation by the athletic department, and later the main campus through MU’s Office for Civil Rights & Title IX, for more than four months.
2. Former athletic director Mack Rhoades, who resigned July 13 to accept a similar position at Baylor, launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from several players alleging verbal abuse by Earleywine.
3. Missouri’s compliance department quietly interviewed team members during the season before the team’s Unity Council publicized the investigation May 7 by announcing the Tigers were playing under protest in a show of support to Earleywine.
4. After a first-round exit in the SEC softball tournament, Earleywine asked the players to end the protest, which Mizzou’s players agreed to do before hosting an NCAA regional. The Tigers dominated regional play, but lost to Michigan in the NCAA super regional round.
5. Missouri has concluded its Title IX investigation into Earleywine with no finding that he violated federal non-discrimination statutes.
Earleywine, a Jefferson City, Mo., native, is 453-154 in 10 seasons as Missouri’s coach. The Tigers have appeared in a NCAA regional every season of Earleywine’s tenure, advancing to a super regional eight times and appearing in three consecutive Women’s College World Series from 2009-11.
Here's what Earleywine said when the complaints first became public:
“There’s a couple of kids on the team that probably have things, exchanges between myself and them or different scenarios, that they would have liked to see handled differently,” Earleywine said. “I’m tough on kids. I make them accountable and there’s discipline in our program. I’m a throwback. If that’s demeaning, maybe, but it’s not about them, the person, it’s about their performance as a player.”