- Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Two former Dixie State University women’s basketball players who alleged they were the victims of discrimination have settled a federal lawsuit against the school for $100,000.

Court filings last week indicate plaintiffs Nanea Woods and Austen Harris will receive $50,000 each but they must cover their own legal costs, the Spectrum of St. George reported (https://bit.ly/1WV4Z1g).

The women alleged that former coach Catherria Turner treated black players differently than white players and harassed them about their sexual orientation.

Turner was fired in November 2014 after less than two years on the job.

DSU spokeswoman Jyl Hall said in a statement Friday that the settlement is not an admission of liability on the university’s part.

“The cost of settlement will be borne by the university’s state-based insurance provider, the Utah Office of Risk Management,” the statement says. “While the state and the university were confident of their position before the court, it was reasoned that the settlement amounts would be far less than the costs of fully litigating this dispute.”

The school has said it properly investigated the women’s allegations.

Woods, named the Notre Dame de Namur University player of the year and now the assistant coach, said in an email that her time at Dixie State University started with hope and excitement, but ended with pain and regret.

“I felt I was failed by the administration and by the coaching staff,” she wrote. “The lawsuit help(ed) me gain some of that power back. I needed people to know my pain and have someone agree with me that my experience and treatment was simply wrong.”

Harris did not respond to a request for comment. She said last year that she was pursuing her degreed at DSU.

Turner told the Spectrum in May 2014 that she did not discriminate.

“Why would I discriminate against a member of my race or any other race? I wouldn’t do it. That’s not who I am and that’s not what I’m about. . And I would never discriminate against someone who has a specific sexual preference. You can’t control whom you love and the heart wants what it wants.”


Information from: The Spectrum, https://www.thespectrum.com

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