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around4ever

LA -Lafayette Softball Coach

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Michael Lotief, the well respected, long time, Louisiana - Lafayette Softball Coach put on administrative leave for fighting for Title IX rights for his team.  This should get interesting. 

http://www.flosoftball.com/article/62866-put-on-leave-coach-michael-lotief-fighting-for-equity#.WfRry7g8LCQ

 

Michael Lotief says he cannot talk publicly about what's going on between him and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. But the long-time Ragin' Cajuns softball coach has plenty to say about what he feels is discrimination based on gender in the sport.

Lotief was placed on administrative leave by the school October 6. His attorney John E. McElligott Jr. said at the time that the decision came after a "passionate conversation about gender equity" between Lotief and university personnel. 

"Coach Lotief raised simple issues like getting the grass cut, making sure students have an athletic trainer at practice, making sure the assistant coaches get paid, and ensuring female athletes get a functional assessment before doing weight training," McElligott said.

Lotief told FloSoftball on Friday that the school told him his leave would be somewhere between two weeks and 30 days. He has been head coach of Louisiana-Lafayette softball for 14 years. The Ragin' Cajuns have been to three Women's College World Series, seven NCAA Super Regionals, and 14 NCAA regionals in his highly successful tenure.

"What is going on between me and the University as far as the administrative leave is a private matter that I cannot discuss at this time," Lotief told FloSoftball in an interview conducted via text message. "But what I can discuss is there are a lot of young coaches out there and female athletes in our sport who get disrespected or excluded or treated differently because of their gender. We should ALL be in agreement that there is NO PLACE FOR DISCRIMINATION of any kind - but in this instance, it is gender discrimination in SOFTBALL. Sports can often be a platform to focus our attention on hot topics like Equality & Inclusion & Unity & Acceptance. We've come a long way in our sport but we must continue to have the courage to fight to end discrimination and to end the stereotypes. We need greater EMPATHY and compassion for each other and always choose inclusion and fairness and unity over discrimination & retaliation and division. This is a fight for OUR SOULS - I remain hopeful that we shall overcome."

Lotief said he has been in touch with his players and they are fully aware of what is going on. Per a Louisiana-Lafayette statement issued October 6 announcing what the school deemed a  "leave of absence," assistant coach Chris Malveaux is currently at the helm of the program. Lotief's daughter, Chelsea, is a sophomore outfielder on the team. 

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"I love my players, they are MY FAMILY," Lotief said. "I'm not fighting for a pay raise for me - I'm fighting so they get respect for what great people they are. Yes, they are awesome athletes on the field but they are even better people in the classroom and in our community. Some things transcend softball and our personal relationships and our empathy and compassion for each other's struggles always comes first. This is most difficult on them. They are struggling to make sense of this. I try to be there for them EVERYDAY and try to make sure they keep the right perspective and understand what the fight for equality and respect really means. I want them to stay positive and be strong just like it's the World Series finals. We have to be there for each other and we have to stay focused and no matter the outcome, we stay committed to our dreams and our purpose."

Lotief said he was unable to discuss what school officials were part of the conversation that McElligott alluded to, nor could he say what the discussion was about specifically. He reiterated that some of the remedies relating to better treatment of softball were "simple."

"Most people think of Title IX as 'whining' or 'comparing' this to that or 'they got this, so we should get this,'" Lotief said. "That's not the argument. Most times it is not even that complicated. It is simple, basic stuff like cut the grass; or bring clean water each day; or make sure they get competent trainers for their health needs or make sure the strength coach actually knows what a windmill pitch is or maybe has even been to a game or two. 

"Windmill is becoming exceedingly popular and more and more of our daughters are finding it to be an enjoyable extracurricular activity where they can learn to compete and also learn how to grow into strong, confident women who can handle struggle and adversity. So I don't think it is asking too much that the support personnel involved in SOFTBALL actually have some basic understanding of our sport and the skills and the movements and specialization, and yes, even the differences, that are required for our female athletes to become ELITE. They ought to be treated as 'ELITE ATHLETES' and we should provide them with all the tools necessary to become the best of the best."

A request for comment sent to the Louisiana-Lafayette athletic department was not returned to FloSoftball on Friday.

By Marc Raimondi

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That's a guy I'd want coaching for me...willing to put his incredibly successful career on the line for his team for the right reasons.  "This is a fight for our souls", sounds like somebody (or a few) needs to wake up in Lafayette, somebody cut the freakin' grass already.  Good grief.

Edited by PowerOfDixieland
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He could be using Title IX claims to leverage his discontent with the athletic department.  The athletic trainer should be able to do simple evaluations to clear players for weight training as well as screen for basic muscle imbalances that may predispose to injuries.  They may not have a dedicated trainer for softball who would attend practices/games.  They have a good program and should rise to the level of having one.  Your assistants not getting paid would really be frustrating.  He may feel he will have more clout with a Title IX claim on these issues.  On the surface it sounds as though LA-Lafayette should upgrade their support of the softball program. 

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Some of the facilities with the ULL softball program are too notch after a recent renovation. The stadium is unbelievable.  However, as you said, the support where it counts should improve. 

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6 hours ago, slot canyon said:

He could be using Title IX claims to leverage his discontent with the athletic department.  The athletic trainer should be able to do simple evaluations to clear players for weight training as well as screen for basic muscle imbalances that may predispose to injuries.  They may not have a dedicated trainer for softball who would attend practices/games.  They have a good program and should rise to the level of having one.  Your assistants not getting paid would really be frustrating.  He may feel he will have more clout with a Title IX claim on these issues.  On the surface it sounds as though LA-Lafayette should upgrade their support of the softball program. 

Probably so... but consider the likely budget for athletics at that school....bet everything is done on a shoestring since there is no football cash cow to cover all of those costs.   

Relative performance of their softball team is well beyond any of their other sports but I'm betting it's not self supporting..  I guess I can understand his reasons but I expect it's like getting blood from the turnip on some things like salaries. 

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If the baseball program has all of the things he is asking for them he does have a Title IX complaint.  If not, then he probably won't win this. 

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10 hours ago, around4ever said:

If the baseball program has all of the things he is asking for them he does have a Title IX complaint.  If not, then he probably won't win this. 

True....but at smaller programs I read frequently about coaches cutting the grass on their fields and doing their own laundry so who knows what's going on there.   Looks like some folks have discovered that Title IX is a hammer with many uses on the college campus. 

As an aside:    Fans of schools like AU complain because our locker room TV sets are too small or we only have 80 padded chairs in the locker room....they should have a bit of appreciation what it's like to be in one of the smaller programs trying to be competitive against financial powerhouses.  

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10 hours ago, AU64 said:

Probably so... but consider the likely budget for athletics at that school....bet everything is done on a shoestring since there is no football cash cow to cover all of those costs.   

Relative performance of their softball team is well beyond any of their other sports but I'm betting it's not self supporting..  I guess I can understand his reasons but I expect it's like getting blood from the turnip on some things like salaries. 

Certainly they have a football program, in the Sun Belt Conference.  How much cash it pulls in, I have no idea.  We've played them at least four times.

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45 minutes ago, OlderWhiskey said:

Certainly they have a football program, in the Sun Belt Conference.  How much cash it pulls in, I have no idea.  We've played them at least four times.

Yep.....but their total athletic budget is $14M and they run about as many sports programs and most power 5 schools.  They make very good use of their money apparently.  

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The LA-Lafayette softball team had a record of 47W 8 L last year.....23 -1 in conference.  Beat Bama 2out of 3 in an early season series last year.  The coach likely feels the softball program is under-appreciated by the athletic department.

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3 minutes ago, slot canyon said:

The LA-Lafayette softball team had a record of 47W 8 L last year.....23 -1 in conference.  Beat Bama 2out of 3 in an early season series last year.  The coach likely feels the softball program is under-appreciated by the athletic department.

Yep, and they were 1 win away from going to the World Series last year.  They took the 1st game against LSU in the Supers. 

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1 hour ago, slot canyon said:

The LA-Lafayette softball team had a record of 47W 8 L last year.....23 -1 in conference.  Beat Bama 2out of 3 in an early season series last year.  The coach likely feels the softball program is under-appreciated by the athletic department.

Saw elsewhere where their athletic department was rated the 2nd most "efficient' in Div 1 out of more than 200 schools......which means they are probably tight as a tick when it comes to amenities. 

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Fired today ...

http://www.katc.com/story/36739350/ul-fires-softball-coach

UL fires Softball coach

Posted: Nov 01, 2017 1:51 PM CDT

Updated: Nov 01, 2017 2:22 PM CDT
 
 

 
 
13111464_G.jpg

KATC just received this statement from the University of Louisiana: 

Following complaints of students and a staff member of the Louisiana Athletics department, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has terminated head softball coach Michael Lotief, effective immediately.

Lotief violated University and UL System policies by subjecting student-athletes and coworkers to violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault, creating a hostile learning and working environment.

“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated,” University President Dr. Joseph Savoie said. “I want to commend the students for coming forward. They exemplified great courage in sharing their stories.”

A national search for a new head softball coach will begin immediately, according to director of Louisiana Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard.

 

According to University Police, there are no pending charges against Lotief.

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1 hour ago, AUBwins said:

Fired today ...

http://www.katc.com/story/36739350/ul-fires-softball-coach

UL fires Softball coach

Posted: Nov 01, 2017 1:51 PM CDT

Updated: Nov 01, 2017 2:22 PM CDT

 
 

 

 
 
13111464_G.jpg

 

KATC just received this statement from the University of Louisiana: 

Following complaints of students and a staff member of the Louisiana Athletics department, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has terminated head softball coach Michael Lotief, effective immediately.

Lotief violated University and UL System policies by subjecting student-athletes and coworkers to violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault, creating a hostile learning and working environment.

“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated,” University President Dr. Joseph Savoie said. “I want to commend the students for coming forward. They exemplified great courage in sharing their stories.”

A national search for a new head softball coach will begin immediately, according to director of Louisiana Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard.

 

According to University Police, there are no pending charges against Lotief.

That escalated fast. To the pit of misery.......

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Wow.....thought he was the aggrieved party...not the culprit.....that sure changed appearances in a hurry.

"Whistle Blower"  or what?   

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This does not sound like Coach Lotief.  There has to be more to this story.  

The search for a new coach to come in under the current conditions of the program may be a difficult one. 

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1 hour ago, AlaskanFAN said:

“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated,” University President Dr. Joseph Savoie said. “I want to commend the students for coming forward. They exemplified great courage in sharing their stories.”

Something garish in the parish here.  According to the College Softball forum, ULL players sent the following letter to the AD :

http://www.katc.com/story/36732571/ul-softball-players-write-letter-to-ul

which may be summarized as "Y'all are a**holes persecuting the good guy here.  We are the winningest sport on campus, and you have treated us like dirt.  We came here to play for Michael Lotief."

Two days ago, the ULL AD fired Lotief's assistant Sarah Corbello.

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1 hour ago, AlaskanFAN said:

Quote from ULL President:  “I want to commend the students for coming forward. They exemplified great courage in sharing their stories.”

 

A couple days previously, a group of players wrote to defend the coach.....and then the above...

Players writing a letter to support a softball coach.....gee.....where have I heard that before?  :-\

Sound to me like a good squabble to stay away from. 

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Sounds like a frame job after claiming a title IX issue.  In my opinion, based off his reputation,  Lotief being screwed here. 

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1 hour ago, AUBwins said:

Sounds like a frame job after claiming a title IX issue.  In my opinion, based off his reputation,  Lotief being screwed here. 

I guess that could be but lately I've learned that more times than we know there is stuff going on behind the scenes that everyone wants to stay there. ...and it's not always wise to automatically jump to the defense if you aren't close to the situation. 

Sounds like at least some players had what appeared to be legitimate complaints.    It would be foolish for the school president to take that kind of action without cause,  knowing that the truth would come out sooner or later. 

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1 hour ago, AU64 said:

I guess that could be but lately I've learned that more times than we know there is stuff going on behind the scenes that everyone wants to stay there. ...and it's not always wise to automatically jump to the defense if you aren't close to the situation. 

Sounds like at least some players had what appeared to be legitimate complaints.    It would be foolish for the school president to take that kind of action without cause,  knowing that the truth would come out sooner or later. 

That's true,  and yes there could be truth to it.  I may just be a little surprised regarding the abusive rhetoric.  Every coach uses language amongst players, most of it not pretty.

We will likely never know what is truth and what isn't. 

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2 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

According to the article linked below, AD Bryan Maggard spent time at Missouri, where a similar situation occurred with the softball team.  Anyone know about that?

http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2017/11/01/cajuns-softball-players-feel-betrayed-lotief-suspension/821548001/

Thanks ....I do recall that now that you mention it.....about the time of the other things on the Missouri campus but as noted, nothing came from it apparently. 

Been more of that in recent years....Rutgers and some other schools too....mostly the verbal and vulgar abuse claims.....maybe the snowflake generation perhaps ....I recall one of the complaints against Clint was he was harsh and made some of the players cry. Changing times affecting older coaches? 

Found this link a minute ago:   https://schooloversports.wordpress.com/tag/bully-coaches-in-college-sports/

Who knows?  :dunno:

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