SDSU wrongful termination trial gets underway - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDSU wrongful termination trial gets underway

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Testimony continues Wednesday in the trial of a lawsuit filed by Beth Burns, who claims she was wrongfully terminated as San Diego State University's women's basketball coach in retaliation for demanding equal treatment of female athletes. 

Burns is suing her former employer, San Diego State University, after claiming she was fired in retaliation for demanding equal treatment of women’s athletics programs. However, school officials claim it was because she struck an assistant coach.

Burns' attorney, Ed Chapin, says "Coach Burns was shocked. She was stunned."

The Aztecs' winningest women's basketball coach says she retired to save her pension before the school terminated her, after accusing Burns of hitting first-year assistant coach Adam Barrett at a home game against Colorado State in 2013. 

She was in a five year contract extension with a yearly salary of $220,000, plus bonuses. 
   
The 57-year-old is suing for breach of contract, gender discrimination and retaliation for complaining about Title IX. 

"She just wanted to get equal opportunity for the women at the basketball program at San Diego State," Chapin said.

Burns says she was forced out and the school was fighting against her for demanding that women's athletics receive equal treatment just as the men's team. 

Her attorney says she never intentionally hit anyone and was ushered out the door. 

"Saying you struck a subordinate, that's a 'fireable' offense and you no longer work here and coach Burns says is this irreparable? Can I do something about it? No there's no going back we only go forward this has been reviewed at the highest level by the president."

Burns is currently the Associate Head Coach for the USC Trojans women's basketball team.
    
Burns' attorney says she was reacting to a Hail Mary 3-pointer by the opposing team and that she is just a very passionate coach.

Burns is seeking $3 million and punitive damages.

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