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BREAKING: Former LU head women's softball coach and second coach file appeals/grievances

The fired LU head women's softball coach and an assistant coach have filed appeals and grievances over what they call their termination due to a complaint filed by a player who says she was refused her request to order a sandwich without meat for Lent.

Attorney Cade Bernsen says former head coach Holly Bruder and assistant coach Allison Honkofsky were told by the Athletic Director to resign or they'd be fired. They say the dispute involves a player, Paige Holmes, who says LU coaching staff members refused her request to order a meal without meat during Lent and follow her religious beliefs, when she was mistakenly served a sandwich with meat on a Friday road trip. Holmes' father says the staff refused her request and didn't allow her to follow her religious beliefs. Attorney Bernsen denies the claim. Bernsen released to the media what he says is a copy of the menu from that Friday road trip. He says it shows that Holmes ordered a bacon and turkey sandwich. Holmes' father says the menu Bernsen released is a Saturday menu. He says players would fill out menus one day ahead.


From Attorney Cade Bernsen - “Coach Bruder and Coach Honkofsky filed appeals/grievances pursuant to Lamar policy regarding their termination of employment with the university. The Coaches have likewise formally requested that Lamar Athletic Director Born preserve all relevant documents and emails concerning these events.

On Friday, May 11, 2018, Coach Bruder was terminated by AD Born without reason or explanation. On that same day Born instructed assistant coaches Allison Honkofsky (7 months pregnant) and Demi Laney to likewise resign or they would be fired. AD Born has refused to provide any rationale to these coaches as to why they are being targeted.

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Coach Honkofsky informed AD Born that she will not resign because she had not done anything that warranted being fired and will pursue a grievance/appeal pursuant to university policy. Coach Honkofsky is going to fight back.

After Ms. Holmes made her false allegations about the coaching staff, AD Born issued a gag order to the team and coaching staff not to talk to the media. Meanwhile, Ms. Holmes and her father had unlimited access to the media and relentlessly attacked the coaching staff and program.

AD Born has repeatedly criticized the “culture” of the Lamar softball program. He should explain what he means by culture. Does he mean the culture of community service? Is he referencing the fact that the Lamar softball program under Coach Bruder has won the Cardinal “red cup” award for the last four years for performing the most community service of all Lamar athletic programs? For instance, during the 2016-2017 academic year, the Lamar softball team performed 842 hours of community service for such recipients as: Arc of Beaumont, The American Cancer Society, Anayat House, the Humane Society of Southeast Texas, Some Other Place and Buckner’s Children Village. Or maybe he is referring to the culture of academic excellence demanded by the coaching staff that has produced a team GPA average of 3.1 or higher over the last six years?

The sad fact is that AD Born failed to do a thorough investigation of Ms. Holmes’ “religious liberties” being violated. Born failed to interview the players and staff that were actually there. Born failed to confirm whether or not Ms. Holmes actually observed Lent. Which she did not. Born likewise failed to investigate whether Ms. Holmes had threatened other lawsuits against Lamar or the coaching staff before this incident. Which she had. More to come.

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