responsible for students. The university is aware of his abusive
and harassing nature but they condone his actions. . . ." The
letter ends by saying "Paul James should be dismissed for what
he is and NU must practice what it preaches." Id Exh. 27.
After typing the letter, Mark took it to Conklin, who signed
it in his presence. Id. Exh. 4, p. 94. Mark then took the
letter to Mary Kate Nugent, a Niagara student and former member
of the women's soccer team, who signed it. Id. pp. 95-96.
Nugent was told the letter was only going to the Athletic
Department. Id. Exh. 5, p. 59.
Mark stated that he delivered copies of the letter only to the
student government president and to the school newspaper. Item
38, ¶ 14. Nugent also stated that Mark told her that he gave the
April 2 letter to different students around the campus such as
TKE, a fraternity, and other people. Item 51, Exh. 5, pp. 57-58.
Josh Meyers, a student at Niagara University and member of the
soccer team, stated Mark told him that he was "going to send the
letter he had written to coaches, administrators and camp
directors in order to prevent Paul James from obtaining
employment in the area." Id. Exh. 10, ¶ 6.
The April 2, 1997 letter had been sent to entities outside of
Niagara University, including collegiate athletic departments,
local elementary schools, and soccer federations, such as
Niagara Falls School District, Dodge Elementary School
(Williamsville, NY), New York State West Youth Soccer
Association, various colleges in the Metro Atlantic Athletic
Conference, the Niagara Gazette and The Buffalo News. Item 47,
85; Item 51, Exhs. 12, 13, 14, 15, 29.
Accompanying the April 2, 1997 letter distributed outside of
Niagara University was an unsigned notice, addressed to
"parents[,] coaches[, and] sports administrators" which stated
that James was "banned from coaching soccer in Canada for sexual
harassment"; that he was "fired for sexual misconduct involving
an 18 year old student, and at Niagara University with an 18
year old player on his soccer team"; that he "[o]perates . . .
soccer camps in Lewiston, Williamsville and Buffalo areas" and
that "[a]fter he is hired and on contract he looks for young
girls and camp counselors." It ended with "[m]ake sure you
chaperone your kids at all times." Item 51, Exh. 28. The
envelopes containing the April 2, 1997 letter and the notice
were postmarked Buffalo. Mail from Niagara is postmarked from
Buffalo. Id. Exh. 29; Item 47, ¶ 89.
On April 28, 1997, the acting captain of the Niagara Men's
Soccer Team, John Parsons, wrote a letter signed by 32 of 36
members of the 1996 season soccer team in response to the April
2, 1997 letter. Item 51, Exh. 11. Parsons expressed the
"unbounded respect and admiration in which we hold our coach,"
sentiments that were much different from the "ludicrous picture"
painted by the April 2 letter, where a team meeting was used "to
represent Paul James as some sort of tyrant whom the players are
in fear of." The majority of players left that meeting "feeling
inspired and looking forward to the upcoming season." Parsons
termed the charges of sexual misconduct as "scandalous" and "so
far wrong that they hardly deserve comment." He focused instead
hard work, dedication, and success which Paul James
has brought to the Niagara Soccer Program. The
relationship between the vast majority of the soccer
players at Niagara and Paul James is one of mutual
respect and admiration on our part. There is nobody
we would rather play for than Paul James.