The former Georgia Tech women's basketball head coach is filing a lawsuit four months after she was fired.
In March, MaChelle Joseph was terminated. One of the main allegations was that basketball players had been subject to mistreatment by Joseph and the staff. Joseph coached the team 16 years.
Forty interviews were completed during the investigation. They talked to Joseph, the team’s 2018-19 assistant coaches, all 13 members of the 2018-19 team, various administrators and support staff, as well as parents of student-athletes.
Here is an excerpt of what Georgia Tech said was determined after an independent investigation into the program, which was handled by Littler Mendelson P.C. Employment and Labor Law Solutions Worldwide.
A final report on the investigation was submitted by Littler Mendelson on March 20. Among the findings were that every student-athlete reported “concerns regarding alleged emotional or mental mistreatment” by Joseph, and that student-athletes described the environment around the team as “toxic,” “suffocating,” “unhealthy” and “hostile” and described Joseph’s conduct as “bullying” and “emotionally, mentally and verbally ‘abusive.’”
Now, Joseph is filing a complaint against the Board of Regents of The University System of Georgia, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, the athletic director Todd Stansbury, and others.
She's seeking relief against the defendants for sex discrimination, retaliation of violation of Title IX, breach of contract, and other alleged violations.
The lawsuit states that her coaching style, while "tough at times, was neither extreme nor abusive." The suit said she advocated "to ensure that her team and her players were treated fairly and equally and not subjected to mistreatment."
She claims that the school's new athletic administration embarked on a campaign of "retaliation and harassment" that ended her career as head coach. A few others were also fired.
Georgia Tech later named Nell Fortner as the new coach.
11Alive reached out to the school about the complaint. They said they do not comment on pending litigation.