Idaho State University has been stung with a pair of strong but separate allegations directed at two of its sports programs.
A student filed a federal lawsuit against the school earlier this month, stating he was the victim of religious discrimination while playing as a member of the ISU men's tennis team. In a second allegation, two players on the ISU women's softball team said they were the victims of bullying.
ISU officials aren't commenting on the lawsuit from Orin Duffin, who claims he was harassed and discriminated against because he's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his suit, Duffin said he was harassed by an assistant coach. In another instance, former Head Coach Bobby Goeltz allegedly asked Duffin "inappropriate questions about sexual activities" as they relate to the Mormon faith. Additionally, Duffin said when he informed his coaches that he would be going on mission after the 2014-2015 school year, he was immediately barred from participating in any further doubles matches.
Now, the Idaho State Journal reports complaints from two women who claim they were bullied during the 2016 softball season have triggered a review from the Big Sky Conference ethical conduct committee. Conference officials were quick to add that the review was "not an official investigation by the conference." Meanwhile, ISU officials said their own internal investigation found "no evidence of bullying but rather multiple misinterpretations of outspoken verbal leadership."
The Journal's Madison Guernsey reports sources close to the team said the bullying "hit a fever pitch around the Big Sky Conference tournament" hosted earlier this month in Ogden, Utah.
"A couple girls stepped up and were vocal leaders, and it came off as bullying," ISU Athletic Director Jeff Tingey told the Journal. "We addressed it with them."