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Petitioning Head Women's Basketball Coach Ryan Weisenberg and 3 others

Pepperdine: Stop Bullying LGBTQ Student-Athletes and Bring Inclusion Training to Campus

We are #BetterThanBullying. Br{ache the Silence is calling for LGBTQ inclusion training for Pepperdine University coaches, athletic administrators and student-athletes.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Ryan Weisenberg and Academic Coordinator, Adi Conlogue are accused of violating the civil rights of Plantiffs, Layana White and Haley Videckis. The 24-page official complaint, filed in the California Supreme Court, alleges Ryan and Adi harassed the players for months, becoming obsessed with determining the nature of the Layana and Haley's relationship, which they chose to keep private while attending Pepperdine, due to the hostility towards LGBTQ people at the school.

According to the official complaint, during a team leadership meeting after the 2013-14 basketball season, Coach Ryan stated, “Lesbianism is not tolerated on this team. It is why teams lose. Lesbianism is a big concern in women’s basketball.” 

Pepperdine, a private, faith-based institution, admits students of all sexual orientations. Pepperdine’s code of conduct prohibits premarital sex, but having a non-sexual dating relationship, gay or straight, does not violate the University’s conduct code. Layana and Haley were accused of having a relationship, not premarital sex. 

According to the official complaint, “In order to avoid rumors that they were lesbians and further harassment from the coach and his staff, the Plantiffs denied that they were more than friends. The Plantiffs asked for Coach Ryan’s help to stop the rumors and unfair treatment they had been receiving from the trainers and the academic coordinator.  Plaintiffs claim that Coach Ryan refused to help because he believed that the Plantiffs were in a lesbian relationship and, unlike a friendship, would by its inherit nature cause damage to the team. Therefore, Coach Ryan wanted the Plantiffs off the team.” The complaint goes on to say, “On September 5, 2014 as a result of continued harassment based on sexual orientation, Layana attempted to commit suicide.”

Shortly after Layana’s suicide attempt, Coach Ryan refused to allow Haley to play basketball without providing a gynecology report for both Haley and Layana. The girls were singled out as no other players on the team were asked to take gynecology exams or provide gynecology reports, as it had nothing to do with playing basketball. 

In the event the court rules in favor of the Plantiffs, Coach Ryan Weisenberg and Adi Conlogue should be terminated immediately for violating the privilege of leadership as University employees to harass, defame and bully Layana White and Haley Videckis. As noted in the Student Handbook, “Pepperdine will not tolerate the harassment of any member of our community and will take disciplinary action against anyone found responsible for such behavior."

Br{ache the Silence supports all student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators who experience anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Join us in telling Pepperdine University President, Andrew Benton; Athletic Director, Steve Potts; Head Coach, Ryan Weisenberg; and Academic Coordinator, Adi Conlogueharassment is unacceptable and inexcusable on all levels; and will not be tolerated. We are #BetterThanBullying. This petition calls on Pepperdine University to take the following actions:

1.) In the event the court rules in favor of the Plantiffs, we call for the termination of Ryan Weisenberg and Adi Conlogue to protect the well-being, health and safety of current and future Pepperdine student-athletes

2.) Adopt a University wide non-discrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, similar to Pepperdine School of Law

3.) Adopt a ‘Spirit of Inclusion’ statement, similar to University of Notre Dame, that includes sexual orientation and gender identity

4.) LGBTQ inclusion training for all Pepperdine athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes by the spring of 2015

5.) Make the NCAA LGBTQ Resource Guide: Champions of Respect available to all Pepperdine athletic staff immediately

6.) Officially recognize Pepperderine's LGBTQ Student Group, Reach OUT

Additionally, we strongly encourage the West Coast Conference to adopt a non-discrimination statement inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity to which all member schools are held accountable. 

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

In Solidarity,

Br{ache the Silence is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending homophobia in the women’s sports community through diversity consulting, media & merchandising and public awareness initiatives. You can reach us @BTScampaign. Find out more about our work at www.freedomsounds.org.

Pepperdine Contact Information:

Andrew Benton, President: andrew.benton@pepperdine.edu; (310) 506-4451

Steve Potts, Athletic Director: steven.potts@pepperdine.edu@StevePottsAD;(310) 506-4749

Ryan Weisenberg, Head Coach: ryan.weisenberg@pepperdine.edu; @RyanWeisenberg; (310) 506-4412

Adi Conlogue, Academic Coordinator: adi.conlogue@pepperdine.edu; (310) 506-4821

Social Media: #BetterThanBullying@Pepperdinefacebook.com/pepperdine 

Additional Resources

http://freedomsounds.org/timeisnow/

http://www.outsports.com/2014/12/15/7398423/pepperdine-lesbian-basketball-rene-portland

http://ittakesateam.blogspot.com

http://title-ix.blogspot.com/2014/12/lesbian-basketball-players-sue.html

http://www.afterellen.com/people/404097-lesbian-basketball-players-sue-pepperdine-university-discrimination

http://www.nclrights.org/press-room/press-release/national-think-tank-convenes-to-create-inclusive-and-respectful-environments-for-college-athletes-and-coaches/

www.nclrights.org 

www.mcclureimages.com

www.arcusfoundation.org

www.campuspride.org

www.GLAAD.org 

www.transathlete.com

www.GLSEN.org

www.youcanplay.org

www.fearlessproject.org

www.outsports.com

www.goathletes.org

www.equalitycoachingalliance.org

www.athleteally.com

www.standupfoundation.com

This petition was delivered to:
  • Head Women's Basketball Coach
    Ryan Weisenberg
  • Academic Coordinator
    Adi Conlogue
  • President
    Andrew Benton
  • Athletic Director
    Steve Potts


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