Monday, July 14, 2008

Mediation Prevents Another Lawsuit Against Fresno State

Fresno State will reportedly pay $605,000 to softball coach Margie Wright, who in 2004 filed a complaint with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights challenging the disparity in salaries to women coaches and the facilities and opportunities provided to female athletes. Wright had not filed a civil suit against Fresno State like her colleagues Lindy Vivas, Diane Milutinovich, and Stacy Johnson-Klein, but her OCR complaint -- which had raised issues similar to those cases that resulted in multi-million dollar payouts -- triggered a mediation that resulted in the settlement.

Wright testified at Vivas's trial about the sexist and homophobic culture of the Fresno State athletic department, including the "Ugly Women Athlete's Day" affair. She was prevented from mentioning how the baseball coach referred to her team as "Dykes on Spikes" but this testimony would have presumably been admissible in her own case.

Wright is the winningest softball coach in the NCAA, with 1307 career wins.

[Thanks, D!]