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Former Coach Sues University of Montana for Defamation

A former women’s soccer coach at the University of Montana has filed a lawsuit alleging the school of violating the contract and breaching his privacy, The Missoulian reported.

The suit filed in Missoula County District Court comes a year after soccer coach Mark Plakorus was fired by the administrators for allegedly using the official phone to text escort services in Las Vegas.

In court filings, Plakorus alleged the university of defaming him by releasing complaints of sexual misconduct and employment information to different media houses after he was fired.

“In its communications, UM wrongfully implied Plakorus committed acts of sexual misconduct, endangered his players’ safety, and inappropriately used UM resources,” the suit said.

In February 2018, the university announced allegations of misconduct against Plakorus. They were reported by athletes who said he was messaging them at inappropriate times, which often-made them uncomfortable. Another player, who remained anonymous, alleged the complainants of having a vendetta against the coach.

“At the end of the season we had players express concern about (the) frequency and time of day that they received messages from Coach Plakorus,” Athletic Director Kent Haslam told Missoulian last year.

“As we looked more into this, me and Jean (Gee), the concerns merited digging a little deeper in order to understand the climate around the team.”

The complaints were later junked by the university’s Title IX office after its “climate survey” found them lacking merit.

Plakorus continues to maintain that he never contacted any escort service and the texts were only in response to “personal ads.”

The university hasn’t issued any statement on the lawsuit, while its spokeswoman declined to comment on pending litigation.

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