Marc Weinreich
Thursday March 28th, 2013

A former Detroit Mercy athletic director admitted to an extramarital affair with an assistant coach on the men's basketball team at the Roman Catholic university, and she partnered with school officials to file a legal response March 13 requesting that a lawsuit be dropped from another assistant coach who claims he was fired for being the whistleblower.

According to a report from Perry A. Farrell of USA Today Sports, Keri Gaither admitted to having relations with assistant coach Derek Thomas. Gaither and Thomas resigned Oct. 31 last year and then the other coach, Carlos Briggs, was fired the next day. Briggs maintains he was let go because he knew about the relationship as far back as the 2009-10 season. The school contends he was fired for "legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons," but would not elaborate on his termination. According to the report from USA Today Sports, the school argued Briggs' claim he was fired over knowledge of the relationship "defies logic [since his firing] would only serve to make it more likely that he would go public."

A number of former players on the basketball team detailed in a suit filed Jan. 29 by Briggs that they knew there was an inappropriate relationship on road trips, according to the USA Today Report:

"On occasion, players would observe Thomas slip into Gaither's hotel room after the team's curfew, causing the players to leave their rooms to go stand outside the door to Gaither's room, giggling while they listened to the sounds of Gaither and Thomas apparently having sex."
The suit alleges that Gaither showed favoritism toward players who remained mum on her relationship and "unfair punishment" to others, which "caused dissension within the basketball program." Briggs is suing Detroit Mercy, Gaither and a media consultant for the school, seeking more than $25,000 in damages.

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