Former Texas Southern Women's Basketball Coach Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against University
Surina Dixon, former head women’s basketball coach at Texas Southern University, has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer. It is the second suit that Dixon has filed against the university; a 2008 filing was withdrawn by her attorney Todd Slobin.
Dixon’s lawsuit points out that she was offered only a one-year contract that would pay her $75,000 a year while TSU men’s basketball coach Tony Harvey was given a five-year deal that pays him $150,000 a year.
“In order to make sure that Surina’s rights were fully protected, there are certain administrative and governmental processes that were pursued and those measures take time.” said Todd Slobin, Dixon’s attorney, in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
This is a problem with a number of colleges and universities, not just HBCUs. While pay should be equitable for men’s and women’s coaches without question, some athletic directors are caught in the compromising situation of salaries versus revenue bearing opportunities for the individual programs. Additionally, factors like professional experience and work evaluations also play a role in determining salary.
It’s tough because Dixon only held the position for three months after being hired by then-Athletic Director Johnnie Cole, only to be fired by his replacement, current AD Charles McClelland. If she can prove that her dismissal stemmed from advocating for equitable pay, there may be a far greater price for TSU to pay than the back pay and restoration she is seeking.