Former SDSU coach Beth Burns. Photo courtesy SDSU website.
Former SDSU coach Beth Burns. Photo courtesy SDSU website.

A jury Wednesday awarded former San Diego State University women’s basketball coach Beth Burns $3.3 million in damages on her claim that she was wrongfully fired in retaliation for demanding equal treatment for female athletes.

Burns was fired in April 2013 following a school-record 27-win season, and nine months after she’d been given a five-year contract extension worth $220,000 per year.

Burns filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and whistleblower retaliation for complaining about equal treatment for women’s athletic programs. She has since taken a job at USC for about $150,000 per season.

“It’s almost a surreal moment,” Burns said outside court. “It’s been a long road. I didn’t waiver. I felt I had the truth on my side.”

Burns’ attorney, Ed Chapin, said SDSU “assassinated” Burns’ character during the trial and said it will be difficult for her to get her reputation back.

David Noonan, the lead attorney for the California State University system, told the jury that Burns had trouble controlling her emotions and from the university’s standpoint, none of its employees should have to go to work and be confronted by “an out-of-control boss.”

–City News Service