Saturday, June 25, 2011

John Harris, University of Minnesota Golf Coach,

Leaves after less than one year...

John Harris, whose one season as director of Gophers golf programs included success on the links and trouble off, resigned Friday after less than a year on the job.

Harris signed a multiyear contract last July 30 and will not receive a buyout, according to Garry Bowman, university director of sports information.

Harris, one of the state's top amateur golfers, is the central figure in an ongoing lawsuit against the university. The suit was filed by Kathryn Brenny, hired by Harris as associate women's golf coach last August.

The complaint says that on Sept. 12 Harris told Brenny she would not be traveling with the team and was given duties such as typing schedules. Brenny was told by athletic director Joel Maturi to "quit or comply" with Harris' decisions, according to the complaint.

Brenny originally agreed to a severance package, then rejected it, the complaint states, after hearing that an athletic department employee told at least one player that "Harris discovered she was a homosexual and did not want her on the road with the team.''

The suit alleges the university and Harris violated her rights as a member of a protected class under the state Human Rights Act. University general counsel Mark Rotenberg has said that the school does not agree with Brenny's claims and did not discriminate against her on the basis of sexual orientation.

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