Richmond, VA—After an Equal Opportunity Employment investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity, Virginia Commonwealth University finds women's volleyball coach James Finley was not fired because he is gay.
The Office's report was submitted to VCU President Michael Rao, after it found that Finely's discrimination complaint was unfounded.
Finley made his discrimination allegations public in November; since that time, the university has taken measures to address issues of equality and diversity on campus. A meeting was held, addressing concerns associated with Virginia Commonwealth University's commitment to diversity in the Department of Athletics, and within the university.
“We work vigorously across the university to ensure that VCU is an inclusive and fair community, embracing all people of all backgrounds,” President Rao said. “I have a personal, passionate commitment to advancing diversity in all of its forms and expect the same of my senior leadership team.”
VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin, who Coach Finely says fired him because he is gay, said in a separate statement that VCU's diversity is part of what attracted him to the school. He adds, “It has been heartbreaking to have a value I hold true to be so publicly questioned. People who know me best personally and professionally know how deeply I value diversity, fairness and integrity.”
The investigation included fact-finding interviews with 16 individuals and a review of applicable personnel records, and concluded that Finely's claims of discrimination based upon his sexual orientation were unfounded.
Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond