Oakland University Must Submit Report on Coach Firing

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by Associated Press

ROCHESTER, Mich. ― A judge on Wednesday ordered Oakland University to turn over an unedited internal report on the firing of women’s basketball coach Beckie Francis, who university officials say abused players.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Martha Anderson said during a hearing Wednesday that she would decide this week how much of the report will remain blacked out.

Francis is suing the 19,000-student school to get specific information on her June 12 firing. That same day her husband, Gary Russi, announced his retirement as president of Oakland University.

Officials at the university north of Detroit in Rochester allege that Francis physically and emotionally abused players, obsessed about their weight and pushed Christian beliefs on them.

“Oakland University apparently concocted an Internal Investigation into Ms. Francis in June, 2013 which is being used as the basis for her sudden termination,” Francis’ lawyer Deborah Gordon told The Associated Press in an email. “OU has refused to release the file to Ms. Francis in spite of Michigan Law allowing employees to obtain copies of all employment records. We have filed a suit in order to obtain that Investigation report.”

Francis was in two meetings about the report’s findings and knows why she was fired, the school’s attorney, Robert Boonin, said Wednesday. Oakland University also has to consider student privacy and other privacy issues, according to Boonin.

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