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Mizzou settles defamation lawsuit with South Carolina coach

The University of Missouri has settled a lawsuit involving Athletic Director Jim Sterk and South Carolina Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley for $50,000. (File)

The University of Missouri has settled a lawsuit involving Athletic Director Jim Sterk and South Carolina Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley for $50,000.

The lawsuit, originally seeking $75,000 in damages, was filed against Sterk for remarks he made on KTGR radio. The athletic director had critical comments of the Gamecocks fans when Mizzou played in South Carolina Jan. 28.

Staley accused Mizzou's athletic director of slander and negligence, the lawsuit accusing Sterk of "promoting and suggesting veracity in his patently false allegations."

Sterk apologized for his on-air remarks saying his comments were construed.

“Following a very spirited and intense game I attended in late January between the nationally ranked Missouri and South Carolina women’s basketball teams, I made comments in a local radio interview that were construed to suggest that Coach Staley promoted the negative experiences of racial epithets and spitting,” Sterk said in the news release.

“I do not believe Coach Staley would promote such conduct, and I sincerely apologize to her for those comments."

Half of the settlement will be paid to Staley's non-profit foundation INNERSOLE, an organization that provides new sneakers to children who are homeless or in need. The other half will be paid to Staley's attorneys.

“I accept his apology and I appreciate the contribution of $25,000 to INNERSOLE," Staley said in a news release.

“I’m glad we can share in support of this worthy cause and I look forward to moving past this with a continued spirited but positive competition amongst our programs.”

In accordance with university policy, the lawsuit settlement will be paid by the university as Sterk made his comments in good faith while performing his duties as a university employee.



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