CINCINNATI – A former University of Cincinnati volleyball player is suing the school, claiming she was kicked off the team because she posted photos on Instagram that her coach said were “too sexy.”
Nineteen-year-old Shalom Ifeanyi (ih-fee-YAH’-no) filed the lawsuit in a federal court last week, alleging racial discrimination and discrimination on the basis of gender by the university and volleyball coach Molly Alvey.
The former volleyball player removed from the team because they don’t fit the “distorted image” of a UC volleyball player, Ifeanyi claimed in her lawsuit.
The lawsuit also includes screenshots of a text conversation that are alleged between Ifeanyi and Alvey discussing the former UC athlete social media messages.
Ifeanyi said Alvey harassed her about the photos posted on her social media accounts, according to the lawsuit, and asked her to remove them.
“No such requests were made to other members of the women’s volleyball team who is of smaller build and lighter complexion, despite photos of their outfits, including, but not limited to, two piece bathing suits,” Ifeanyi, the lawsuit said.
Ifeanyi said they deleted the photos but don’t think it was fair. She was later dismissed from the team in the summer of 2017.
Ifeanyi said that they filed a complaint with UC Title IX Office, but claimed the university had not yet offered her a chance to appeal the decision to remove her from the team, according to the lawsuit.
The teenager is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys ‘ fees.
The university has no comment on ongoing legal matters, according to the UC Athletics spokesman Ryan Koslen.
NCAA transfer rules prohibit Ifeanyi playing volleyball at another school for the 2018-19 season. As a result, they will not have athletic scholarship money to help pay for tuition, according to the lawsuit.