Missouri AD apologizes to South Carolina women's basketball coach and will pay $50,000 to settle lawsuit
The suit was filed by Dawn Staley after Mizzou's Jim Sterk claimed she created an unhealthy atmosphere at a game
Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk and South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley reached a settlement agreement on Thursday stemming from a defamation lawsuit filed by the Gamecocks coach.
The suit was filed in February after Sterk claimed Staley promoted an "unhealthy" type of atmosphere at South Carolina's home game against Missouri on Jan. 28. Sterk alleged that during the game, Staley promoted Missouri players to be spit on, taunted with racial slurs and treated poorly.
South Carolina conducted its own investigation into the claims in the aftermath but found no confirmation of the alleged behavior. She filed the suit citing Sterk's "false, defamatory and reckless statements."
According to a statement released by the University of Missouri, the $50,000 settlement requires $25,000 go to Staley's INNERSOLE nonprofit organization and the other $25,000 be put toward attorney fees.
"Following a very spirited and intense game I attended in late January between the nationally ranked Missouri and South Carolina women's basketball teams, I made comments in a local radio interview that were construed to suggest that Coach Staley promoted the negative experiences of racial epithets and spitting," Sterk said in a statement Missouri released Thursday. "I do not believe Coach Staley would promote such conduct, and I sincerely apologize to her for those comments."
In a separate interview in the wake of the settlement, Staley said the lawsuit had nothing to do with the money.
"The money is a non-issue, but (we're) glad we got a settlement," Staley told WIS News 10. "This was about my reputation and what I've built over my career and also just being my mother's child. I am a child in which, my mother raised me properly. If anything synonymous with anything that's negative, if it's seen in that light, it's a direct relation to what she's done in raising me and raising her four other kids, so I'm extremely happy."
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Duke crushed each of its opponents and got big time performances from Zion Williamson and R.J....
CBS Sports' college basketball experts polled more than 100 coaches to get their pick to win...
The Blue Devils' biggest stars showed out Friday night to give Duke a 2-0 record on their Canadian...
The Tar Heels get a big man for the future, likely a piece in the post who will stay in Chapel...
R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson combined for 64 points in Duke's first exhibition
O'Connell was one of five Duke starters that helped build an early lead before suffering an...