Joseph alleges sex discrimination after a monthlong investigation led to her firing in March
Former Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph filed suit against the university athletic association and several university officials on Tuesday.
The lawsuit alleges sex discrimination against both herself and the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team and an associated Title IX violation for her March 26 firing. It also alleges a “retaliatory hostile work environment.”
Joseph was fired after a monthlong investigation into allegations that she emotionally and mentally abused her players. According to the report, every student-athlete interviewed for the investigation shared similar concerns. Two former players later came forward to back up the investigation’s findings, with one also accusing Joseph of sexual harassment.
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After being placed on leave prior to the investigation, a legal representative for Joseph told High Post Hoops that she was “suspended … without explanation.” However, they did believe her frequent complaints about the university’s treatment of herself and her team played a role.
The lawsuit aligns with this belief and reads in part, “It was because of Coach Joseph’s efforts to advocate on behalf of [women’s basketball] and protect her players from mistreatment — not subject them to it — that [Georgia Tech]’s new athletic administration embarked on a campaign of retaliation and harassment that ultimately ended her career as Head Coach.”
Along with the athletic association, the suit targets the state board of regents, soon-to-be-retired university president George P. Peterson, athletic director Todd Stansbury and associate athletic directors Marvin Lewis and Shoshanna Engel.
Joseph seeks damages for, among other things, pain and suffering, a loss of professional opportunities and harm to her professional reputation. The lawsuit was filed in in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and requests a trial by jury.
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