The settlement ends all litigation by the two women, who alleged that the athletic department discriminated against them due to their gender and sexual orientation. Iowa will pay $2.33 million to Meyer, $1.49 million to Griesbaum and $2.68 million to the law firm that represented them.
“We are pleased to have this behind us and looking forward to participating in the external review of our employment practices,” athletic director Gary Barta said in a statement Friday. “As an athletics department we have tremendous coaches, staff and student-athletes who are succeeding at the highest level, both in competition and academic performance. I am very proud of our department’s commitment to our student-athletes and that our outlook remains strong. We are confident the best is yet to come.”
Griesbaum claimed that Barta was quicker to fire her because she is a woman and is gay, while Meyer alleged that the department had retaliated against her for speaking out after Griesbaum, her partner, was fired. Meyer also claimed she was unjustly paid less than deputy athletic director Gene Taylor.
A Polk County jury last month found that Iowa illegally discriminated against Meyer and awarded her $1.45 million in damages. Before the settlement, her lawyer had indicated she planned to seek further payment from the university. Griesbaum’s trial was set to begin June 5.