ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Attorneys for Georgia Tech’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach charged Thursday her suspension is the result of her raising concerns about gender equity issues inside the institute’s Athletic Department.
The law firm of Katz, Marshall and Banks issued the statement on behalf of Coach MaChelle Joseph, the day after Georgia Tech announced her suspension.
The school said Joseph had been placed on leave for what it called a “pending personnel matter.”
In their statement to FOX 5, Joseph’s lawyers wrote:
“Given that the school has failed to provide any explanation to Coach Joseph, her agent, or her lawyers, despite repeated requests, we are left to conclude that this is the latest, and most serious, action in a string of ongoing retaliation that she has suffered for raising concerns about gender equity issues in the Athletic Department. Joseph, who has served at Georgia Tech for over 15 years, and is the winningest coach in the history of Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball, can conceive of no action by her that would warrant such a drastic and punitive measure. Coach Joseph intends to take whatever steps are necessary to defend her reputation and return to coaching her team, which is currently poised to earn a much coveted berth in the NCAA tournament.”
On Wednesday, Georgia Tech spokesman Mike Flynn told the Associated Press the school will not say if the leave is the result of a team-related matter.
Assistant coach Mark Simons will serve as the acting coach when the Yellow Jackets play Thursday night at Miami. Georgia Tech fell to 17-10 overall and 7-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with Sunday's 53-45 loss at Virginia.
Joseph is in her 16th season at Georgia Tech, where she is 311-198. She has the most wins in school history and has led the Yellow Jackets to 11 postseason appearances, including the WNIT each of the last four years.
Joseph, 49, was Big Ten player of the year at Purdue in 1992.