Former Lady Raiders Head Coach Marlene Stollings Releases Statement on Lawsuit
Marlene Stollings was fired from Texas Tech on August 6th, 2020 amid a firestorm that arose after a damning article was published about the exit interviews her team had given during her tenure at Texas Tech. The USA Today article detailed abuse and allegations about misconduct from Stollings and her coaching staff, which forced Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt to clean house.
In early September, Marlene Stollings announced that she would be lawyering up and suing Texas Tech and Hocutt.
Now, three months later, Stollings released a statement on Twitter with the lead-in, "We may not control all the events that happen to us, but we can decide not to be reduced by them..."
The statement opens: "In order to set the record straight about her recent termination as women's basketball coach at Texas Tech University, Marlene Stollings against the school and its director of athletics Kirby Hocutt."
It goes on to say the move to sue the university is a "bold and courageous" step by Stollings who seeks to "expose the inner workings of Texas Tech's Athletics Department under Hocutt and put an end to the discriminatory treatment of women within the Athletics Department."
The statement lists Stollings' accomplishments while at Texas Tech as proof that she shouldn't have been fired positing that the team had been improving under her tenure. Stollings also claims that there were two internal reviews that had already proven the claims in the USA Today article false before they were brought out into the open.
Stollings also alleges in her complaint that her firing was based on discriminatory biases of Hocutt and Texas Tech, saying that she was punished for being as demanding as a men's coach, but being punished instead of praised. Stollings also claims she's one of four members of the LGBTQ community to be victimized by Texas Tech in 2020.
Stollings’ legal team says the lawsuit has nine claims for relief, including breach of contract, defamation, fraud, and equal protection violations since Stollings identifies as LGBTQ.
An important distinction that's made in the statement is that the lawsuit is being filed in the United States district court and not a State of Texas court because of the legendary Sovereign Immunity clause that has tied up another case from an ex-Texas Tech coach for more than a decade.
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