Skip to main content

A College Basketball Coach Is Suing A Rival School's Athletic Department

A game ball for the NCAA Tournament.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

An SEC women's basketball coach is suing another school in the conference for defamation. This could get ugly.

South Carolina women's coach Dawn Staley has filed a defamation lawsuit against Missouri's athletic department. The lawsuit stems from a controversy that happened at a game earlier this season.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk alleged earlier this season that South Carolina fans had spit at Missouri players and directed racial slurs at them. This came after a 64-54 loss.

"I mean, it was not a good environment and unfortunately I think Coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere," Sterk said in an interview. "It's unfortunate that she felt she had to do that."

Sterk then also alleged that Staley "fostered" the hostile environment. These allegations were disputed by South Carolina's athletic department, along with Staley.

“If I could uproot my fans and place them in any other arena, that coach would be tremendously proud,” Staley said. “I stand by our fans, by the way they cheer, by every single thing they bring to the arena.”

Now, a lawsuit has been filed.

South Carolina is 22-5 this season. The Gamecocks went 11-3 in the conference.

USC has two more regular season games before the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks went 1-1 against Missouri this season.