BROOKLINE, MA — A 21-year-old star softball player is suing Brookline’s Newbury College after she said the coach at the time kicked her off the college’s softball team because she was deaf.
The Boston Globe reports that following a campaign of mocking and abuse, the coach (who apparently only worked there for a season) ultimately told her “you are no longer welcome here.”
In a lawsuit filed this month in Middlesex Superior Court this week, Kayla Finacchiaro of Natick who no longer attends Newbury, accuses the coach and the college of discriminating against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
But the administration at Newbury College says that’s not what happened.
“The Boston Globe reported unproven allegations in their story and the College is confident we will be vindicated through the legal process. Newbury College unequivocally denies discriminating against this individual or anyone suffering from a hearing disability or any other disability. To the contrary, the College is committed to non-discrimination, welcomes students with disabilities and is committed to making reasonable accommodations for all students with disabilities,” college officials emailed Patch.
Representatives said they could not comment on whether Finacchiaro ever complained to the administration before she left.
The former coach did not immediately return voice mailed messages and email request for comment.
The former softball coach was named head coach mid season and then moved to Chicago to teach batting before she moved to South Carolina to coach a college team there. According to her bio, she’s a former AmeriCorps volunteer.
Some Newbury College students who were close to the situation around the time Finacchiaro was on the team told Patch they remember the events differently.
One softball player said the way the coach was characterized in the lawsuit seemed out of character.
“I was pretty shocked,” she said to hear about the lawsuit. Players said Finacchiaro came mid season, at a time when the team had no pitcher. “If anything she was supposed to be an asset to the team,” a former teammate said. “They definitely weren’t looking for reasons to remove her.”
But teammates remember she was often late to practice if she came at all.
None of the teammates Patch spoke to were aware of any bullying by the coach or other people at Newbury.
“Newbury is one of the most accepting places I’ve ever been,” said one.
Read the full Boston Globe Article here: Deaf Softball Pitcher Was Kicked Off
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-This reporter is an adjunct journalism instructor at Newbury College.
Sports Image Credit: Shutterstock, Patch File. Photo of Newbury College: Jenna Fisher/Patch