Rene Portland has left the locker room. The wildly successful Penn State basketball coach resigned Thursday in the wake of a lawsuit that claimed Portland had a “no-lesbian” policy during her 27-year reign over the Lady Lions.
Portland didn’t give a reason for her resignation but apparently was not forced to resign. Well, if by “was not forced” you mean “was left no other choice because of the decades-long PR nightmare.” I’m just guessing there.
Former Lady Lion Jennifer Harris painted a picture of Portland that’s anything but regal:
Other players, including Cindy Davies, have alleged that Portland treated them similarly. Davies quit the team in 1981 and has stated that she struggled with depression after Portland confronted her about her relationship with the team manager.
The Harris lawsuit was settled over a month ago. But discrimination against lesbian athletes certainly continues. Will “bully coaches” like Portland become a thing of the past as stories like Davies’ and Harris’ continue to come to light? ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel says it well: “Ultimately, good coaches win their players’ hearts without having to control their minds.” And without, um, being homophobic monsters who openly establish policies against gay players. Good riddance, Rene.