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Wednesday Scrambler: Gary Barta Testifies

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Gary Barta took the stand Tuesday for the third straight day in the Jane Meyer trial.

Wisconsin v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Hello friends. We have a lot to catch up on in the Jane Meyer Trial since we spoke last week, so let’s hop right in and do it to it.

Athletic Director Gary Barta has been on the stand since last Friday, with his testimony largely focusing on two areas — Meyer’s behavior while employed in the Athletics Department, and former field hockey head coach Tracey Griesbaum’s firing, which is the move that brought this whole fiasco to head in 2014.

On the Meyer situation, which took up a lot of time Tuesday, he had the following highlights:

  • Meyer’s behavior was “escalating and becoming disruptive” in the fall of 2014. He said he received a continuing number of complaints about her from members of the athletics department. It came to the point where “[Barta] could no longer conduct business with her in that role.” That role, of course, was as Senior Associate Athletics Director.
  • Barta decided to reassign Meyer from the Athletic Department as Griesbaum, her partner, threatened to sue the UI and he heard these concerns about Meyer from his staff. He said his department’s “mood and the attitude is much, much better” as a result of the reassignment. Barta said he did not want to bring her back to the department because of the the improvement he saw after her departure.
  • Tom Newkirk, representing Meyer, focused heavily on written correspondence documenting these complaints. However, Barta said all matters were verbal and he does not exchange emails with head coach Kirk Ferentz, among others.

That’s the majority of Barta’s discourse focusing specifically on Meyer. As a friend and I were lamenting yesterday, this has been a headache to keep up with and give new information on because there is so. much. repetition. in the courtroom, and understandably so. We’ll probably get a lot of the same of that once he begins a FOURTH day of testimony this morning.

Onto Griesbaum — it’s admittedly a little juicier — but wanted to note her trial is scheduled to take place this summer. This isn’t going away, folks.

This sucks, guys. It’s a sad situation for both parties involved, and after the first few days of testimony its seems there are way more losers than winners. No denying the case’s intrigue, but there’s no other way to slice it — ugly for everyone in the Polk County Courthouse.