In recent years, the coach's impressive won-lost record has been overshadowed by allegations of a punitive "no-lesbians" policy that she exercised over her teams. Training Rules , Dee Mosbacher's withering documentary, examines the personal toll that institutional intolerance can exact. The focus of the film is on Jennifer Harris, a smooth-shooting guard from Harrisburg and a former Lady Lion who filed a discrimination suit against Portland, the university, and its athletic director in after her basketball scholarship was pulled. Portland resigned in , two months after the suit was settled.
Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon and the lawyer for former player Jennifer Harris said the agreement called for settlement terms to remain confidential. In a December lawsuit, Harris accused Portland of "humiliating, berating and ostracizing" her, and claimed she was told that she needed to look "more feminine. Harris, Portland and Penn State athletics director Tim Curley, another defendant, said in a joint statement Monday that they had reached "an amicable settlement. Curley and Coach Portland have disputed Ms. Harris' allegations and have denied any liability with respect to the complaints filed against them," the statement said. Harris has agreed to permanently withdraw and end her legal actions against all parties. Harris, in documents filed in federal court in Harrisburg last May, claimed Portland had a policy of "no drinking, no drugs, no lesbians.
A Look Back At Rene Portland’s ‘No-Lesbian’ Lady Lions
The coach faced a series of discrimination allegations during her tenure. Most recently, Portland and Penn State settled a lawsuit in February by former player Jennifer Harris, who claimed Portland had a "no-lesbian" policy on her team. Portland built the program into a powerhouse, though it slipped to subpar records in recent seasons. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish with the Lady Lion program through the years. Portland compiled a record at Penn State, and earlier this season became the ninth women's basketball coach to win games at one school.
The Philadelphia native coached the Lady Lions from to , and her coaching record is nothing short of impressive. One of the first things Portland said she would bring up during recruiting visits with players and their parents is lesbian activity. But they would probably go without asking the question otherwise, which is really dumb.