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More on the lesbian-baiting Penn State coach

Coach Portland must have been worried that Sapphic desires might be catching.

Penn State’s basketball coach Rene Portland, who has an infamous “no lesbians” policy on her team is the focus of a good piece on homophobia and college sports in the Boston Globe today. Check it out.

Their legacy of pain began in 1982, when, Cindy Davies says, Penn State coach Maureen T. ”Rene” Portland threatened to expose her as a lesbian. The legacy endured as Portland in 1986 publicly espoused her opposition to coaching homosexuals and reaffirmed her stance in 1991, all the while allegedly engaging in a pattern of bias based on sexual orientation. And the legacy grows as Jennifer Harris pursues a federal discrimination claim that Portland cut her from the Penn State team last year in part because the coach considered her a lesbian.

As the women’s basketball community converges on Boston this week for the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament, the Portland case looms as a watershed chapter in a decades-long struggle to eradicate prejudice that has long festered in the sport against homosexual players and coaches. Numerous athletes and coaches said in interviews that nearly every facet of women’s college basketball, from recruiting to hiring practices, has been affected by discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding