Illini women’s basketball players take final step – a civil rights lawsuit – in seeking relief from “abusive” coach

by Kent Sterling

Illini women's basketball coach Matt Bollant is among several being sued by seven former players for civil rights violations.

Illini women’s basketball coach Matt Bollant is among several being sued by seven former players for civil rights violations.

The athletic director was made aware, the president was made aware, and the chancellor was made aware.  According to families of those involved, no one from the University of Illinois responded meaningfully to complaints about women’s basketball coaches until Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan started making calls on behalf of players whose families reached out to the political legend.

By then, the student-athletes had already decided enough was enough and it was time to enjoy playing basketball and studying elsewhere.

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Seven former players have filed a civil rights lawsuit against coach Matt Bollant, Athletic Director Mike Thomas, former assistant coach Mike Divilbiss and the University Board of Trustees seeking $10 million in compensatory and actual damages.

You think they are ready to listen and respond to complaints now?

The four counts cited in the lawsuit are:

1. Racially hostile environment in education — a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

2. Race discrimination against rights to contract — a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1991

3. Equal protection violation — a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1871

4. Violations of the Illinois Civil Rights Act

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