In August, a judge awarded former Jackson State University (JSU) head coach, Denise Taylor, $200,000 in damages for “emotional pain and suffering” she endured during her employment. Taylor was the head women’s basketball coach at JSU for 10 seasons before she was fired in 2011. She filed the lawsuit against the university on January 24, 2012 claiming wrongful termination, sexual discrimination, invasion of privacy, and breach of contract.
Coach Taylor’s initial complaint alleged that after voicing her concerns about the lack of budgetary support for women’s athletics at the school, she was harassed by male coaches and the interim athletic director. She claimed that her program was subjected to an audit with the purpose of finding a way to fire her. She alleged that she was terminated after threatening to file a Title IX claim against Jackson State.
U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate’s award was in addition to a jury’s award in December 2013. The jury found in favor of Coach Taylor on her breach of contract claim (awarding $182,000), but granted a defense verdict on her claims for sexual harassment and retaliation.