Two basketball players in St. George, Utah, are suing Dixie State University for discrimination after they said the basketball coach and her father racially discriminated against them and openly questioned their sexual orientation.
The lawsuit alleged that athletic director Jason Boothe and school officials did not act in a timely manner when alerted to the conduct of Catherria Turner and her father, Stevie Turner, who often participated in basketball activities.
“I’m so frustrated by the absence of action from the school,” said former player Nanea Woods of Redwood City, Calif.
She added: “I didn’t feel like they were protecting the athletes at all. I know for a fact they knew about a lot of stuff that was going on.”
Turner, Dixie’s first black coach, allegedly treated non-black players more favorably, and her father would refer to the black girls on the team as “sistas” and other racial slurs. Stevie Turner even told parents of the black team members that the girl were not working as hard as the “white girls.”
Furthermore, Turner pried into the sexual orientation of the players. She prohibited dating between players but then accused Boothe and Austen Harris, who is also named in the lawsuit, of dating each other in front of their teammates.
“Not to say having a coach worry about your personal life is bad, because it’s not bad at all,” said Harris in an interview. “But being overly involved on a day-to-day basis, it was more than a coach should be involved.”
Turner has already been fired for an NCAA violation. The school says she withheld information from the athletic department. The suit will ask for damages to be determined by the jury.