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Court reverses ruling in university soccer coaches' case

HATTIESBURG — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled against three former University of Southern Mississippi soccer coaches who claimed sexual harassment and sexual discrimination.

The Hattiesburg American reports the ruling reversed a 2008 Forrest County Circuit verdict that awarded a total of $1.2 million in damages to the coaches.

The Supreme Court found insufficient evidence to the jury’s verdicts in favor of former head coach John Vincent and assistant coaches John Mollaghan and Ged O’Connor, who claimed sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation at the hands of Southern Miss employees.

Vincent, Mollaghan and O’Connor filed suit in 2000, naming as defendants former Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini, senior women’s administrator Sonya Varnell, former Southern Miss President Horace Fleming and the university.

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