It seems female collegiate sports coaches have been long been getting the short end of the stick compared to their male counterparts, but that looks like it’s about to change. According to an article at News-press.com, "FGCU settles gender bias suit" , two former Florida Gulf Coast University coaches will split a $3.4 million settlement of their legal claims against the college. They join a host of other female college coaches who have recently won big dollar settlements and verdicts:
- San Diego State University: $1.45 million settlement to former swim coach Deena Deardurff Schmidt.
- Fresno State University: Settlements/jury awards to former women’s basketball coach Stacy Johnson-Klein ($9 million), former volleyball coach Lindy Vivas ($4.52 million), former associate athletic director Diane Milutinovich ($3.5 million) and softball coach Margie Wright ($605,000).
- UC Berkeley: $3.5 million settlement to former swimming coach Karen Moe Humphreys.
It seems it’s only a matter of time before female college coaches in other parts of country follow suit and start filing their own lawsuits.
The two FGCU coaches – former women’s volleyball head coach Jaye Flood, 51, and former women’s golf head coach Holly Vaughn, 46 – had brought their suit in federal court (Flood and Vaughn v. Board of Trustees of the Florida Gulf Coast University et al. , Middle Dist. Fla. Case no. 2:08-cv-30-FtM-34), claiming the school had retaliated against them for raising concerns about mistreatment of female athletes and coaches and alleging defamation. Their lawyer, Linda Correia of DC firm Webster, Fredrickson, Correia & Puth and lead counsel for "Public Justice", a national legal defense group, said: "This case was always about retaliation, and it was always because Coach Flood and Coach Vaughn stood up for their teams and stood up for their programs, and raised valid issues to the university."
Flood received $2,965,000 while Vaughn received $435,000. As part of the settlement, FGCU has agreed to hire an independent company to lead a full Title IX gender equity compliance review and subsequent monitoring for 4 years, a campus attitude survey, and a personnel policy review. FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw further said that the settlement payments would be paid out of the school’s insurance policy, not donor money or tuition revenue.
Congratulations to Ms. Flood and Vaughn and their attorneys!