Brooke Heike (courtesy Robert Barclay, CMU)
Updated: Wednesday, 11 Feb 2009, 3:31 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 11 Feb 2009, 7:54 AM EST
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - Central Michigan and its women's basketball coach are being sued
by a former player, who claims her heterosexuality was a factor in
losing a scholarship after two seasons.
Brooke Heike said she fell out of favor with Sue Guevara immediately after the coach was hired in 2007.
Heike said Guevara told her she wore too much makeup and was not the coach's "type." That meant she wasn't a lesbian, according to a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Bay City.
The former Romeo High School star lost her scholarship after the 2007-08 season.
"I didn't feel that she did anything to improve herself after being told over and over what she needed to do," Guevara told an appeals committee last June.
Heike's lawsuit claims the appeals panel "simply rubber-stamped defendant Guevara's bad-faith decision to deprive plaintiff of her scholarship and dismiss her from the team" for reasons unrelated to basketball.
Central Michigan spokesman Steve Smith said the allegations have no merit, and the university will "vigorously defend its position in court."
Guevara, a former coach at Michigan, was hired by the Chippewas in 2007. Heike was recruited by the previous coach, Eileen Kleinfelter.
Heike played in 11 games as a freshman but only six in her sophomore season under Guevara.
"I had faith in CMU. I liked CMU. I wanted to give it everything I could," Heike told Guevara during the meeting on her appeal. "I wasn't going to give up. You gave up on me."
Heike has been attending community college since leaving campus, her lawyer, Cindy Rhodes Victor, said.
"She was so traumatized by the experience," Victor said Tuesday.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and an unspecified cash award.