Recently I came across a story from June. It was about Noriana Radwan a former woman’s soccer player at the University of Connecticut.
If you haven’t been made aware of what happened to her. Here it goes. Back in 2014 after helping her team win a conference championship Radwan flipped off an ESPNU camera. Not a huge deal right? Wrong!
The head coach at the time Len Tsantiris suspended Radwan. Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of her discipline.
Tsantiris revoked her scholarship which forced her to transfer to another school. She ended playing for Hofstra.
In December of 2016 Radwan sued UConn for discrimination and in June of 2020 a federal judge dismissed the case. Which makes little sense.
UConn viewed the infraction as “serious misconduct” and NCAA bylaws then allows for schools to use that designation to strip players of their scholarship. Which is exactly what happened to Radwan.
Yet there have been more severe infractions by male athletes at UConn where said athlete doesn’t lose their scholarship.
For example James Bouknight fled the scene of an accident after being stopped by a police officer who reportedly smelled alcohol. There was even questions about him having permission to use the vehicle he was driving.
Head coach Dan Hurley said of the situation “it’s hard for me to put myself in his shoes, being James Bouknight, having just been in a minor crash with a pole. I imagine if you’re thinking clearly at that stage … it just became one bad decision that led to another bad decision that led to another bad decision. We’re grateful no one was injured and he’ll deal with the legal issue and he’ll deal with his name attached to a very embarrassing situation.”
Hurley did hand down a three game suspension on Bouknight. Yet acted like a coach and didn’t overreact to the infracton unlike Tsantiris.
Still there’s another aspect to Tsantiris and his motives. Allegedly Morgan Andrews a star midfielder decided to transfer from Notre Dame. Guess who wanted her?
The only way that happens. Freeing up a scholarship. So Tsantiris uses the excuse that Radwan flipping off the camera is “serious misconduct.”
Thankfully Andrews did not choose UConn and wound up playing at the University of Southern California where she won a national championship.
I also don’t agree with the court’s assertion about having no example of a male athlete flipping off a camera that got nationally televised means that it’s acceptable for an athlete to lose their scholarship.
This is about one thing. Sexism. It’s a reflection of how society views women even in a court setting. Women are supposed to behave in a certain way even when competing.
Serena Williams is a classic example of this when in 2018 a chair umpire made her livid.
For UConn it’s good that Tsantiris has since retired. Though I did see that he got a Gold Key Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance. That does need to get revoked over his seedy antics in trying to replace a scholarship athlete with another.
As for UConn the university looks awful for their treatment of Radwan. I truly hope she wins her appeal and the school gets forced to pay a subsantial monetary amount. It will also showcase to other universities around the country that double standards are no longer tolerated.