Mary Burns, former women’s basketball coach at San Diego State University (“SDSU”), filed suit against SDSU and others relating to her termination. Burns was the head women’s basketball coach for eight (8) years. During her tenure at SDSU, per her petition, she had to “fight a dysfunctional athletics administration” that “prioritized men’s sports over women’s basketball.” She further claims the treatment of the women’s basketball program was so poor that she “regularly complained regarding the department’s disparate treatment of the women’s basketball program.”
The petition states, on April 16, 2013, Burns was called into the athletic director’s office for what she believed was an annual review; however, she was told she needed to resign, retire, or be terminated. According to Burns, she was informed by an institutional representative that she would be terminated because she “allegedly struck a subordinate” during a game in February 2013. She adamantly denies intentionally striking anyone during the course of her employment with SDSU. After being presented with her options and being told she could lose retirement benefits, Burns opted to retire. She then sought employment as a women’s basketball coach, but was unable to secure a position due to information supplied to an institution by SDSU.
Burns’ contract was to expire on June 30, 2017 and she was due to make $220,000.00 annually with the opportunity to receive merit pay increases. Due to the treatment alleged, Burns filed suit and seeks recovery under the following causes of action; 1) breach of contract, 2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, 3) retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, 4) wrongful termination, 5) violation of Labor Code § 1050, 6) intentional infliction of emotional distress, and 7) negligent infliction of emotional distress.