ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A star softball player at a Long Island college has filed a discrimination lawsuit, saying school officials overreacted to postings on her Facebook page by kicking her off the team.
Caitlin Ortiz is suing Molloy College in Rockville Centre after she lost her coveted softball scholarship. Ortiz claims it was all about an off-campus Facebook posting involving comments to her roommates.
Ortiz, the only Hispanic member of the softball team, has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Susan Cassidy-Lyke, the team’s coach and school’s athletic director, of discrimination for allegedly referring to her as a “thug” after Ortiz posted questionable comments relating to a dispute with a roommate and lyrics of a racy song on her Facebook page.
“I don’t want to be known as a thug on the Molloy softball team,” Ortiz told CBS 2’s Jennfier McLogan. “A thug image solely because of that song lyric that I put on, and because of this she said I was cyberbullying, that I was threatening.”
Attorney Steven Morelli said Cassidy-Lyke told Ortiz that recruits looking at the college’s website would see that there was a “thug on the softball team,” and believed it would have an impact on bringing them in.
“She finds that offensive. I find it offensive. I’m sure a jury’s going to find it offensive,” Morelli said.
A Molloy College spokesman said he wishes the highly regarded Catholic institution could respond, but due to litigation their comments would have to come in the courtroom.
Ortiz and her parents, who are seeking unspecified damages, said they never would have sued if the college had better communicated with them. Ortiz plans to remain at the college, where she is still a member of the tennis team and hopes to be reinstated to the softball team.
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