Lesbian player sues former school

Add this share

imageA lesbian former basketball player at Southern Methodist University is suing the school for $2 million after she alleges it pulled her scholarship when she complained about the program’s head coach.

Jennifer Colli says Coach Rhonda Rampola pursued gay players and monitored their relationships.

While other universities worked to recruit her, Colli’s sister had already played at SMU. She said she was ecstatic to join the SMU team with a basketball scholarship in 2005.

But her excitement soon turned to shock at the first team gathering, which was when she said Coach Rhonda Rampola said she would not tolerate relationships, referring to gay relationships, among her players.

“I was sitting around and looking and thinking, is this normal?” she said while recalling the meeting held in the locker room. “Is this what we talk about in team meetings?”

Colli, who says several members of the team were gay, alleges Rampola asked players about their relationships with each other.

“That’s a choice,” she said. “If you want to do that or whoever, that’s their choice. It’s not the coach’s choice to tell them who not to date.”

As the season advanced, Colli said she began keeping a diary of problems in the program, which included Rampola’s continuous monitoring of players relationships.

Colli lost her scholarship in the fall of 2006 after airing her allegations to school officials. The school says her scholarship was taken away because she lied about the charges and violated school rules.

“She was retaliated against for bringing to the athletic director items which she says negatively affected the team,” said Mike Kelley, Colli’s lawyer.

Watch a video piece from WFAA about the case.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...