ATLANTA — Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph was fired Tuesday after being put on leave on February 27 for what was termed a pending personnel matter.
Two very different explanations for the firing have emerged.
Joseph’s attorney made the announcement in a news release, calling it “the culmination of an unlawful campaign of retaliation against her for advocating for gender equity in athletics at Georgia Tech.”
Tech released its own statement shortly after the statement from Joseph’s attorney Lisa Banks.
According to the release, the school said that an independent investigation had found that every member of the 2018-19 team had reported “concerns regarding alleged emotional or mental mistreatment” by Joseph. In the report, players described bullying and verbal, emotional and mental abuse.
Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein requested a copy of the 16-page report of the independent investigation and received it shortly after Joseph was fired.
The investigation, conducted by Littler Mendelson P.C. Employment and Labor Law Solutions Worldwide, was authorized after team members shared concerns about player and staff mistreatment by Joseph. The investigation included interviews with every team member, assistant coaches, administrators, support staff and parents of team members.
Joseph was given the opportunity to respond to the findings of the report on Monday. Athletic director Todd Stansbury made the decision to fire Joseph Tuesday.
"After learning of the concerns of women's basketball student-athletes about Coach Joseph's conduct, Georgia Tech retained the services of Littler Mendelson to conduct an investigation of the allegations," athletic director Todd Stansbury said in a statement. "The findings outlined in the report have left us no choice but to dismiss Coach Joseph."
It brought an end to a 16-year tenure as head coach, preceded by two seasons as an assistant.
Joseph released this statement before Georgia Tech released a final report on the investigation.
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