ATLANTA (AP) — A lawyer for Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said Thursday the coach hasn’t been told why she has been suspended and is left to assume the action is retaliation for her concerns about gender equity matters.
Joseph’s lawyer, Lisa Banks, said in a statement to The Associated Press that Georgia Tech “failed to provide any explanation” for the suspension. Georgia Tech announced Wednesday that Joseph was placed on leave due to a “pending personnel matter.”
“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,” Banks said in the statement, adding Joseph “can conceive of no action by her that would warrant such a drastic and punitive measure.”
Banks said Joseph will “take whatever steps are necessary to defend her reputation and return to coaching her team.”
The 49-year-old Joseph is in her 16th season, with a 311-198 record at Georgia Tech. 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.
Georgia Tech spokesman Mike Flynn said the school doesn’t comment on pending personnel matters and wouldn’t respond to Banks’ statement.
Assistant coach Mark Simons is expected to serve as acting coach for Georgia Tech (17-10, 7-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference) in Thursday night’s game at No. 15 Miami (23-6, 11-3).
Georgia Tech is hoping to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.
The Yellow Jackets’ best finish under Joseph came in the 2011-12 season, when the Yellow Jackets advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and finished 26-9 overall and 12-4 in the ACC, tied for third.
Joseph was Big Ten player of the year at Purdue in 1992.