Dawn Staley, South Carolina’s head basketball coach, has filed a lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk. This all stems from a South Carolina-Missouri basketball game last month in which Sterk accused South Carolina women’s basketball fans of spitting on Missouri players and using racial slurs during the event.
“It wasn’t a great atmosphere. It was really kind of unhealthy, if you will. We had players spit on, and called the N-word, and things like that,” Sterk said on KTGR radio in Missouri, as transcribed by The State. “It was not a good environment and unfortunately, I think coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere, and it’s unfortunate that she felt she had to do that.”
At the time, Staley responded in kind:
“The accusations are serious and false,” Staley said. “And they will be handled in a manner reflective of those facts.”
Obviously, this is a still developing and fluid story. That being said, it isn’t often (ever?) that we see a head coach sue another school’s athletic director.
Dawn Staley is only the second person in the women’s game to have played on a top-ranked team (Virginia) and coached another. This entire thing is a huge deal.