WEST HARTFORD, CT — The former associate athletic director at the University of Saint Joseph is accusing the school of ignoring her complaints about a “boys club” atmosphere and sexual harassment by men’s basketball coaches, including former University of Connecticut Basketball Coach Jim Calhoun and Assistant Coach Glen Miller.
Jaclyn Piscitelli, who was fired by the university in June, contends that Calhoun and his team received preferential treatment, “including diverting resources from women’s sports.”
University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford didn’t start admitting males to its undergraduate program until 2018.
Almost immediately after Calhoun, a Hall of Fame coach who won three national titles at UConn, and his assistant, Miller, began their full-time employment, “the athletic department became a male-dominated, hostile work environment,” according to the federal lawsuit.
The university said it has received the lawsuit and is reviewing it.
“The University of Saint Joseph takes compliance with all matters relating to Title IX very seriously. The University does not comment on pending litigation,” Diana Sousa, a spokeswoman for the university, said.
Neither Calhoun nor Miller are named as defendants, but according to the complaint, Piscitelli’s problems with the coaches began almost immediately.
Beginning in 2018, Piscitelli was forced to share her office with two newly hired male coaches who allegedly spent their workdays playing golf with Calhoun while she remained in the office.
Calhoun consistently and repeatedly told Piscitelli, according to the complaint, to open his office door for him even if he had his keys in his hands and without so much as a simple “hello.”
On one occasion, the complaint says, Calhoun also told Piscitelli she was “hot,” and alleges that Miller made numerous inappropriate comments to the plaintiff. At one point, the complaint says, Miller told Piscitelli that he would “swipe left” — a reference to the way users on the Tinder dating site reject contact by a person.
During another incident Piscitelli said Calhoun knocked a number of single-serve coffee “K-cups” onto the floor and stepped on them, creating a mess of coffee grounds and packaging on the floor and made her clean them up, “stating that if he made such a mess at home, his wife would clean up after him.”
Former Athletic Director Bill Cardarelli, who witnessed the K-cup incident, told Piscitelli that “he found the situation amusing,” according to the complaint.
Piscitelli said she reported the comments and incidents to the university and no action was taken.
She said the atmosphere of the athletic department had become “a boys club.”
She was eventually fired on June 21, 2019.
Piscitelli is represented by Magdalena Wiktor of Madsen, Prestley, and Parenteau of New London. The firm is also representing former UConn coach Kevin Ollie in both his federal discrimination complaint against UConn over his firing, and also in a slander suit against Miller.