What’s the best way to deal with a college athlete who is feeling depressed and suicidal? I’m guessing it’s not what Marist College apparently did to women’s basketball Katheryn Lyons after they learned she was going through some serious psychological issues: they suspended her for two semesters and pulled her scholarship. Because that will make any feel much better about themselves!
But while the school’s actions were questionable, they apparently weren’t illegal, as the POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL says that a U.S. District Court judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Lyons against the school, claiming that their decision was “extreme and outrageous conduct” and violated the American with Disabilities Act.
The problems started last November when Lyons apparently called Marist assistant coach Megan Gebbia that she was considering “taking all her pills and (dying) in the women’s locker room.” Meanwhile, Gebbia had also received word from a teammate of Lyons that Lyons was talking about killing herself by jumping out of a dorm room window. Three weeks after this, Gebbia said Lyons had confided in her that “she did not feel safe with the medication in her room.”
Lyons - who was a significant recruit for Marist coming out of high school - has since transferred to Maryland and says that she has been treated for her depression and was well enough to remain in school. But Marist administrators felt differently - it’s hard to say how much incidents like the Virginia Tech massacre weighed on their minds, but they apparently weren’t comfortable with having a student who had talked openly about commiting suicide on their campus or their basketball team.
It’s hard to say who is right or wrong here: depression is an illness, and people with it don’t deserve to be shunned from society. But at the same time, a school should be able to protect its students from potentially dangerous situations, and a suicidal person unfortunately is a danger. What do you think?