University of South Florida Seeks to Dismiss Bias Suits

Article excerpt

The University of South Florida filed joint motions last month to dismiss all 12 lawsuits stemming from alleged racial discrimination on the women's basketball team.

The motions were filed on behalf of all plaintiffs and defendants, except Jerry Ann Winters, who was fired as the head coach of USF's women's basketball team in December 2000 (see Black Issues, Jan. 4, 2001).

The motions seek the court's approval to dismiss all the cases as a result of a pending settlement. The cases will not officially be settled until the court grants the motion, but USF officials said they expect that to take place soon.

The final settlement amount, including all attorney's fees and costs, is nearly $300,000.

"This action allows us to bring this difficult matter to a close," says USF President Judy Genshaft. "We believe the cost to defend ourselves in court -- both the financial costs as well as the emotional toll of this stressful controversy -- would be far greater than the costs of settlement. …