Ole Miss, D’Abramo settle lawsuit over firing

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Jason D’Abramo’s lawsuit against the University of Mississippi was “resolved amicably” Wednesday, his attorney said.
Shane McLaughlin of Tupelo, who represents the former Ole Miss athletics employee, said he can’t say much more than that about the end of the year-old legal action.
Ole Miss attorney Mary Ann Connell could not be reached for comment.
D’Abramo, who lives in Starkville, sued Ole Miss and its governors, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, in April 2011.
Then a resident of South Carolina, he claimed the university’s Athletics Department fired him in June 2010 as its assistant athletics media relations director after he developed a “friendship and social relationship,” with a black member of the Ole Miss women’s varsity basketball team. D’Abramo is white.
When questioned about the relationship, D’Abramo insisted they were just close friends. An investigation by the university’s Equal Employment and Regulatory Compliance office concluded no sexual harassment was involved with their relationship.
D’Abramo also claimed he was given “no forewarning” about the job consequences of their friendship.
The university responded to his claims by saying that “legitimate non-discriminatory reasons” supported his firing.
The outcome of the settlement isn’t public. D’Abramo asked for actual damages, lost income, moving expenses, attorneys’ fees and his job back.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com