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Coach Ousted for Pregnant Partner

Coach Ousted for Pregnant Partner


Belmont University's women's soccer coach stepped down from her job amid pressure from school officials after announcing she and her partner were having a baby.

Athletics Director Mike Strickland said coach Lisa Howe left of her own volition, but team members told The Tennessean of Nashville that she resigned after she gave the news to administrators.

A senior on the team said Howe had asked the athletics department whether she could disclose to her players that her partner was due to give birth to their child in May 2011. Instead, Howe was met with an ultimatum: Resign or be fired from the Nashville school.

Strickland allegedly told team captain Sari Lin on Tuesday that her coach violated an unspoken "don't ask, don't tell" policy about sexuality.

"She was telling us what her sexual preference is," Lin said to The Tennessean. "He said you can hide your sexuality, but you can't hide a baby. He pretty much told me that once the baby was born, she was going to get fired anyway, so it's better to do it sooner than later."

The Tennessee Human Rights Act does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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