Stollings in some hot water at Texas Tech

Ignatius L Hoops

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Ex-women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings preparing to sue Texas Tech over firing


Voepel's article certainly covers a range of topics including the old "verbal report".

Stollings, who had worked previously with Petrella at Minnesota and VCU, said she reported him as soon as she was made aware of the allegations in March, although some players told USA Today they had complained about his behavior before that.

"I was first alerted to it shortly after our season ended, and it was on a call with an athlete," Stollings said of Petrella. "I immediately contacted my supervisor, which is Judi Henry. She instructed me to contact our A.D., Kirby, and within 48 hours, (Petrella) was no longer an employee at Texas Tech."

Texas Tech then did an internal review of the women's basketball program in the wake of Petrella's resignation and other concerns, including the players' exit interviews. That review was presented to Hocutt verbally. When asked why there was no written report, Hocutt said in his Aug. 7 conference call that the investigation was taking a long time and he was getting impatient with it, so he requested to hear it verbally. Stollings said that Hocutt told her that he didn't want a written report that could be available to media under an open records request.

Following the interview with Stollings, ESPN provided Texas Tech a list of questions for Hocutt in regard to her claims. The school -- which reportedly is doing a comprehensive program review in the wake of Stollings being fired -- did not answer the questions but released a statement instead.
 

Shades

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hungan1

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Is she aiming for the Get Out Of Dodge settlement money she would have gotten if she had not been fired for just cause?
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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In the STrib article on the U hiring Don Beebe's group:


Going into Stollings’ final season as Gophers coach in 2017-18, Beebe entered the picture at Minnesota trying to get a handle on the athletic department as a whole.

The university paid Beebe’s firm $25,000 plus a few thousand dollars in expenses for nine days of independent training throughout the year that ended with a review meeting with Coyle and Manning.

“[With the Gophers], we didn’t learn anything about any concerns until after [Stollings] had left,” Beebe said. “Some of the student-athletes said they almost called us the year before.”
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Stollings filed her suit versus Texas Tech today.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Former Texas Tech Lady Raiders head coach Marlene Stollings filed a lawsuit against Texas Tech University and Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent inducement, defamation and sex discrimination.

Texas Tech fired Stollings in August, a day after a USA Today article described a toxic culture within Stollings’ program.


She was the Lady Raiders’ head coach for two seasons before her contract was terminated.

According to a statement put out by Michelman & Robinson LLP, which is representing Stollings, she “seeks to expose the innerworkings of Texas Tech’s Athletic Department under Hocutt and put an end to the discriminatory treatment of women within the Athletics Department.”

Stollings’ lawsuit claims that she could not have been fired for cause. An internal review into the program found no inappropriate or abusive conduct by Stollings, per the lawsuit.

“This termination could not properly have been for cause,” the lawsuit said. “Texas Tech’s own internal reviews had found—accurately—that Coach Stollings had not taken any actions which were in violation of her employment contract.”

The lawsuit also said that players transferred away from Texas Tech to join less demanding and competitive programs. It said that players made negative comments about the Lady Raider program to secure eligibility waivers, which would allow them to play immediately at their next school.

“In order to secure a transfer and continue playing without interruption, NCAA rules
require that student-athletes must claim that the transfer is based on a desire to avoid a negative atmosphere or for physical and mental health reasons. As a result, some of the departing student-athletes provided negative feedback about their experiences with the Lady Raiders.”

The lawsuit goes on to say that Texas Tech’s decision to fire Stollings was based on discriminatory biases against female coaches.

“Texas Tech and Mr. Hocutt regularly, and in this instance in particular, penalized female coaches for employing the same demanding and effective coaching techniques that male coaches utilize and utilized without consequence,” the lawsuit said.

In addition, Stollings’ lawsuit accused Texas Tech and Hocutt of mistreating members of the gay and lesbian community.

“That Stollings identifies as LGBTQ, and is one of four members of the gay and lesbian community to be victimized by the Texas Tech Athletic Department in 2020, is yet another critical facet of her discrimination claims,” Michelman & Robinson LLP’s statement said.

In her lawsuit, Stollings seeks damages to an amount that will be determined in court.

Texas Tech has not yet filed its side of the story in court records.
 


adamj95

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Really? Because she was fired now she’s claiming they mistreat members of the LGBTQ community? Come on now.
 

ISUnorth

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Really? Because she was fired now she’s claiming they mistreat members of the LGBTQ community? Come on now.

She's pretty much thrown everything but the kitchen sink into her suit. Assume she's looking for some sort of settlement because going to trial will mean scores of ex-players on the record telling what an abusive ass she is.
 

GringaGopher

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The plot thickens and I hope she has some integrity around making the claims of discrimination. I agree it seems to be more legal maneuvering to improve her settlement.
 

thatjanelpick

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Also seems like an acknowledgment she'll never coach in the bigs again so why not scorch the earth in the process.
 




Ignatius L Hoops

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Some Stollings updates: Parts of the suit were dismissed; the remainder are headed toward a jury trial.

LUBBOCK, Texas — On Thursday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed parts of a lawsuit filed against Texas Tech University and TTU Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt by former head women’s basketball coach Marlene Stollings. The court did not dismiss the entire lawsuit, however.

The two key parts of the lawsuit left standing were Stollings’ Title VII discrimination claim and her Title IX retaliation claim against Texas Tech.

Stollings filed the lawsuit in October 2020. She was fired by Texas Tech after a USA Today article accused her and the Lady Raider basketball program of abusive behavior.

In the lawsuit, she claimed that she was terminated without cause by Texas Tech and that the University and Hocutt failed to pay her as required by her contract.

This claim was dismissed because of a legal concept called sovereign immunity. In most cases, sovereign immunity means people cannot sue government officials or government agencies. There are, however, exceptions to the rule.

The court also said sovereign immunity protects Texas Tech and Hocutt from Stollings’ claims of fraud and fraud inducement.

While the court dismissed a Title VII discrimination claim against Hocutt, it found that Stollings adequately alleged a Title VII claim against Texas Tech.

This doesn’t mean that the court agrees that Texas Tech discriminated against Stollings on the basis of her sex. The court simply found that, if all her claims are taken at face value, she has legal standing to sue Texas Tech.

The court found the same in regards to a retaliation claim for reporting a Title IX violation. The court dismissed the claim against Hocutt, but agreed that Stollings had adequately argued a Title IX retaliation claim against Texas Tech.

The court will allow Stollings to amend her complaint to just include the Title VII discrimination claim and the Title IX retaliation claim. She will need to file the amended complaint within 21 days.


LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech University and former Lady Raider Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings may be in court this time next year. U.S. District Judge James Hendrix yesterday ordered a jury trial for September 19, 2022.
 

adamj95

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Has anyone talked to Banham, Zahui, or Wagner about Stollings? Did they experience any of these accusations that Stollings is accused of?
 

fanfromthevalley

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Without digging out all the old stories, some of our players during her tenure (Annalese Lamke comes to mind the quickest) verified that all was not rosy here with Stollings and that some of the same things were going on here.
 




fanfromthevalley

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Even if she "won" the law suit, can't imagine there is a school anywhere that would hire her with her background of "issues".
 


Bfan

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That Tweet appears to have no basis to it. Do a news search. There is no news or anything supporting such settlement victory claim.

I have little interest in this issue except I like checking facts.

It appears several people claimed she was abusive. She was fired. She filed a suit with no basis to gain some kind of settlement and make a claim of something.

She won nothing that I can find.


 

Ignatius L Hoops

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I assume the tweet is accurate in that Stollings received a settlement and couldn't resist a little victory dance.

Her remaining arguments were Title IX and discrimination. Remember that in her press release from almost two years ago one of her arguments was that her coaching techniques were similar to Texas Tech's male coaches. And that she was fired to avoid the spotlight being shined on abuses in the lucrative men's programs.

As a kicker, she also claimed Texas Tech was covering up athletics director Kirby Hocutt's "disturbing tenure" at his previous stops. Perhaps she was right and the school decided to forgo the publicity and move on.
 

Bfan

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I assume the tweet is accurate in that Stollings received a settlement and couldn't resist a little victory dance.

Her remaining arguments were Title IX and discrimination. Remember that in her press release from almost two years ago one of her arguments was that her coaching techniques were similar to Texas Tech's male coaches. And that she was fired to avoid the spotlight being shined on abuses in the lucrative men's programs.

As a kicker, she also claimed Texas Tech was covering up athletics director Kirby Hocutt's "disturbing tenure" at his previous stops. Perhaps she was right and the school decided to forgo the publicity and move on.

What you just described does sound like a possible double-standard.

Bobby Knight's behavior comes to mind.

I once had a friend who played college football and told me about old time schools that would make underperforming players go through a gauntlet of physical abuse to get them to drop the scholarship. Some coaches could be nasty.

As I mentioned, the point of my post was just to say I couldn't find anything in the news supporting some kind of victory settlement. I kind of want to stay out of this issue. But you made a good point.
 

Bobek

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Let’s be thankful Stollings is no longer a UMN coach. I couldn’t stand her style of play, which was never let the shot clock wind down to below 15 seconds. Instead put up a poor 30 foot shot over and over, and play no defense. Her player abuse is now legendary and she shouldn’t coach again.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The TV station reached out to Texas Tech; but received no comment.

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Former Lady Raider basketball coach Marlene Stollings reached a settlement with Texas Tech University and Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt this week, ending the civil case that claimed discrimination, fraud, defamation and breach of contract after she was fired.

The claim was dismissed “with prejudice” meaning it cannot be filed in court again.

Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt terminated Stollings in 2020 after reports of hostile and inappropriate environments in the basketball program.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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AND:

Terms of the settlement were not immediately available. The school cannot comment on the settlement, according to Robert Giovannetti, Texas Tech’s Senior Associate Athletics Director of External Operations & Strategic Communications.

Stollings was under contract through March 2024 at the time of her dismissal. She was due to be paid $720,000 in basic annual compensation from the school for the 2019-20 season and was due $740,000 for 2020-21, according to copies of the agreement obtained by USA TODAY Sports and the Intercollegiate. Termination without cause would entitle Stollings to 75% of her remaining basic annual compensation, a total surpassing $2 million.
 

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The TV station reached out to Texas Tech; but received no comment.

Thank you for posting that.
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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Stollings attorney, Peter Ginsberg, told USA Today that she is interested in coaching again, which served as her motivation to settle instead of waiting for the trial.

"Given the nature of university athletics, most if not all colleges were reticent to engage Marlene while her litigation was continuing against Texas Tech,'' Ginsberg said. "Now that the litigation is over, the landscape is expected to change significantly.''

However, not everyone is happy with the decision. Some of Stollings' former players told USA Today that they did not wish to see her coach again. One of them was Mia Castaneda, who left Texas Tech for Washburn University in Kansas in 2019.


"The point was never that we were weak or not strong enough to put up with it," Castaneda said. "The point of speaking was to shine light on the fact that even though we choose to be athletes, we are human first. And our mental and physical health matters. I hope the settlement doesn't turn other athletes away from speaking out if they are experiencing any kind of abuse. I wish her and her staff the best of luck in their future."
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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The wrap:

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech University agreed to pay Marlene Stollings over $740,000 in a settlement reached with the former Lady Raiders head coach, according to court records obtained by EverythingLubbock.com

EverythingLubbock.com obtained the settlement document through an open records request.

The lawsuit was filed in October 2020 after Stollings was fired from Texas Tech in August of that year. The lawsuit was against the university and Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt.

The settlement was signed August 3 and the lawsuit was dismissed in federal court August 11. It was dismissed with prejudice due to the settlement, which means she will not be able to refile the lawsuit.

“Nothing in this agreement, or any action taken under this agreement, is an admission of liability,” by Texas Tech or Hocutt, the settlement document said.

The $740,666 settlement amount was broken up into three parts: $140,666 for “alleged back wages,” $300,000 for “alleged compensatory damages” and $300,000 for attorneys fees.
 




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