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Jane Meyer takes the stand; Gary Barta expected Friday

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This has been eventful!

Northwestern v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

If you wanted some late-week news, we have some late-week news for you. The Jane Meyer trial rages on, and things haven’t gotten prettier since earlier this week.

Over in Des Moines, former No. 2 in the Iowa Athletics Department, Jane Meyer, delivered the bulk of her testimony Thursday afternoon. She has yet to be cross examined by Iowa AAG George Carroll — that’s on Friday’s agenda, along with testimony from AD Gary Barta.

Meyer’s testimony began Wednesday, with nothing overly noteworthy taking place, so we’ll begin with the juicier highlights from Thursday’s session at the courthouse.

Over the course of her career working under Barta, Meyer testified she “was never given any comfort from Mr. Barta that it was okay [to be a lesbian]” and was asked about her relationship with former field hockey head coach Tracey Griesbaum during the UI’s investigation into the program. Because Griesbaum didn’t directly report to Meyer, her partner, there was no reason for this question to be asked according to UI policy. It was, and now it’s part of a gender discrimination suit against the University.

Meyer answered questions about her workload and that of former deputy AD Gene Taylor, who was hired to take over many of the same responsibilities as Meyer had in 2014. Taylor’s starting salary was $72,000 more than Meyer’s.

Meyer testified she “just didn’t understand what work was coming out of (Taylor’s) office” and she observed him spending a lot of time watching ESPN.

A few other happenings in the Moines:

  • Regarding the staff meeting following Griesbaum’s dismissal which led to the ‘insubordination’ claims from the UI camp, Meyer said she didn’t yell at Barta, rather raised her voice, which was filled with passion as she asked the question, “Why are we firing our best coach? This makes no sense to me.”
  • Another quote from that meeting: “Your slogan is ‘win, graduate, do it right. Why aren’t we doing the right thing?”
  • Meyer said Barta changed her past performance reviews, taking away the good marks and leaving the bad.
  • On that claim earlier this week from Carroll regarding Kirk Ferentz’s complaint about the mock-up of the indoor practice facility, from the Register’s Mark Emmert:

Meyer said Barta told her Ferentz was displeased because it included women on the field, not just football players.

Meyer said the drawing was originally incorrect because the architects believed that it was to be used by athletic teams other than just football. She said she later provided a better version.

The other witness of the day, called to stand by Meyer’s camp, was Dr. Donna Lopiano, an expert in Title IX cases and no stranger to trials like these. She spoke about the university’s nepotism policies and synergy between high-ranking athletics officials. Give those stories linked above a read if you’d like more info there.

And that’s it for today. Given the rate at which this trial has developed, I’d be surprised if we get anything meaty from Barta today — the good stuff should come on Monday. Friday news dumps, be gone!

Before you go, give Mike Hlas’ column a read. It does a better job describing the situation and its ramifications than a kid with a laptop in Chicago can. Hlas, Emmert, and Blake Dowson have been doing God’s work and are must follows for coverage.

Have a good weekend everyone. Make a million friendships.