Former South Carolina State women’s basketball coach Audra Smith received $250,000 from the school after she sued both the school and the athletic director at the time for wrongful termination.
Smith was fired in February 2022 for what SC State alleged was offering more scholarships than they could afford as well as declining to follow health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by WCSC.
The specific accusations made by Smith in the lawsuit — filed in March — were that she wasn’t allowed by the athletic department to make suggestions for the budget and that she was wrongfully suspended after the parents of a player were on the court during a senior night ceremony, which was considered a violation of COVID protocols.
For both of these accusations, Smith claimed that the school never informed her that she was violating the budget and that athletic director Stacy Danley never distributed game day management information. She also alleged that it wasn’t her responsibility as a coach to ask the parents to leave the floor.
Two additional accusations made in the lawsuit by Smith suggested that Danley sabotaged her and that the school was negligent when in its hiring practices. She also contended that South Carolina State breached her contract by firing her without a just cause, the lawsuit said.
Smith had been a head coach for 18 seasons. She spent nine years at the University of Alabama Birmingham and five seasons at Clemson before leading the Bulldogs’ program.