A state hearing officer on Thursday dismissed a whistle-blower complaint filed by the former Nevada soccer coach who claimed she was fired in retaliation for reporting NCAA rules violations at the university.
The officer agreed with Nevada Athletic Director Cary Groth, who maintains Terri Patraw was terminated in August because she refused to follow directives, was dissatisfied with her job and repeatedly threatened to quit when she didn't get her way.
"It appears ... based on a review of the extensive written record and the demeanor of the numerous witnesses, that (Patraw) was terminated because of the reasons discussed by Ms. Groth," wrote Bill Kockenmeister, a hearing officer for the Nevada State Personnel Commission.
"Furthermore, these threats, complaints and other indications of (her) unhappiness began to have a severe negative impact on the UNR Athletics Department," he said.
Groth said she expected the ruling.
"We are pleased with the decision and we will continue to focus our energies on moving our program forward with integrity," she said in a statement Thursday.
Patraw, who guided the Wolf Pack women's soccer team to its best record and first NCAA tournament appearance in 2006, said she was given no reason for her firing.
In a whistle-blower letter sent to the media and others last fall, Patraw alleged that a coach, later identified as golf coach Rich Merritt, gambled on sports at local casinos, provided cash incentives to players and paid a player to eat a teammate's regurgitated food, all of which are NCAA violations.
The university contacted the NCAA and then conducted an internal investigation.
Groth previously said no evidence of gambling or cash incentives was found and Merritt received a three-match suspension last fall for the free-meals and airline-ticket violations.
This week, NCAA officials are back on campus to continue their investigations into alleged violations by Merritt.
In addition to the administrative complaint, Patraw makes the same allegations in a lawsuit against UNR she filed in Washoe County District Court.
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