A racism complaint against the UMass Lowell baseball coach last year wound up costing the university nearly $150,000 in a settlement with a student athlete and related legal fees.

In a series of stories last year, GBH News reported on former UMass Lowell student Cedric Rose’s experience dealing with a number of racially charged comments allegedly made to him by the coach, Kenneth Harring. Rose was removed from the River Hawks baseball team and lost his final season of collegiate play.

UMass Lowell announced a settlement in December, but did not announce the dollar amount involved.

Documents obtained by GBH News show the school did not admit wrongdoing, but it did pay Rose $100,000, and also had to shell out an additional $43,525 to a Worcester law firm brought in to conduct an investigation of the accusations lodged by Rose. Rose’s lawyer, Ed Burley, declined to reveal his cut of the $100,000 settlement, but it is typical for lawyers in these kinds of cases to take one-third of the settlement amount.

The investigation that the university paid for determined that though former head coach Harring may have directed harsh words toward Rose, who is Black, the coach’s behavior did not violate the school's policies on harassment and retaliation. The university found, however, found that the interactions between coach and player did not “align with the university’s commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment.” The investigation report has not been released.

Harring stepped down as coach over the summer.

Absent from the settlement agreement is mention of any policy changes that would be implemented at UMass Lowell as a result of Rose’s experience.

This was not an oversight, according to Rose’s lawyer.

“Since we had already persuaded UMass Lowell to implement the reforms we considered most significant, we didn't need to be overly prescriptive in the written agreement as to cleansing the baseball program's culture,” Burley says.

Rose agreed not to bring any further actions against UMass Lowell related to this matter.

“The matter that Cedric Rose raised to UMass Lowell’s attention has been satisfactorily resolved to the satisfaction of both Mr. Rose and UMass Lowell,” UMass officials said in a statement Tuesday. “UMass Lowell remains committed to ensuring all university community members recognize and value differences as essential elements to fostering a vibrant campus environment ready for exploration, learning and growth.”

The saga began in the spring of 2021, when Rose arrived on the UMass Lowell campus as a transfer student with a partial baseball scholarship in hand, and his dream of one day making it to the big leagues.

During his time on the team, after Harring allegedly made racially insensitive remarks to him, Rose began documenting the coach's comments in a diary.

Harring cut Rose from the River Hawks in February, with the athletic department accusing Rose of unspecified “violations of the team expectations and philosophy document that all players are required to uphold.” Rose alleged that Harring cut him after learning about the diary.

Burley says he is now in the process of drafting a policy that he calls “Cedric’s Rule” to propose to the National Collegiate Athletic Association that would institute procedures for interactions between coaches and players “to prevent what happened to Cedric from happening again to other student athletes.”

Rose, who graduated with a major in economics, says he hasn’t given up on a career in baseball in some form, such as playing in an independent league or semi-pro ball, or even coaching. But for now, he’s apprenticing under the watchful eye of his carpenter uncle, and is thinking about using his newly acquired skills to make some money flipping houses.

Rose is proud of his baseball accomplishments, particularly his record-setting 18-game hitting streak.

“I didn’t have a clue I was on a streak until my hitting coach came up to me one day around game 15 and told me,” he says. “I was just going out there having fun, playing baseball, doing what I love.”