UConn player sues over punishment for flipping middle finger to camera

It’s maybe not the nicest thing to do, but it’s something just about all of us have done: flipping the bird. For an ex-UConn soccer player, though, that fleeting gesture has touched off what will soon be a legal battle with her former school.

Noriana Radwan, who lost her UConn scholarship after flipping off television cameras, is now getting set to sue the university, calling the punishment excessive and out of line with past punishments the school has issued.

The then-18-year-old midfielder gave ESPNU cameras the middle finger on live television after after the Huskies won their conference championship game over South Florida on penalty kicks two years ago. The response from the university was swift, with UConn announcing the next day she had been “indefinitely suspended” from the team.

Now a starter at Hofstra, Radwan has prepared a federal lawsuit arguing that she was stripped of her scholarship without due process. Her attorney, Greg Tarone, argues that flipping the bird was hardly “serious misconduct,” as the university accused her of, and noted that Brian Cespedes, a UConn football player, had not even been suspended after recently being charged with misdemeanor assault.

“She was never given the opportunity to defend herself, or to appeal the decision in any way,” the attorney told the Associated Press. “They took away her dream and they took away her voice.”

A UConn spokeswoman declined to comment, citing federal privacy laws. Radwan, who is seeking monetary damages in the lawsuit, is scheduled to speak to reporters on Monday.