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Coach Files $8-Million Suit Against USC : Women’s basketball: Stanley claims that she was promised a lucrative multiyear contract.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Marianne Stanley, women’s basketball coach at USC the last four years, has filed an $8-million lawsuit against the university and its athletic director, Mike Garrett, charging sex discrimination.

She claimed in papers filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court that she was promised a lucrative multiyear contract if she turned around USC’s women’s basketball program.

Garrett indicated Thursday that Stanley had turned down an offer of a new contract.

“We’ve been without a women’s basketball coach since June,” Garrett said. “We presented to her a contract we felt was fair. We don’t feel bad with what we offered Marianne. The negotiations stalled, and that’s where we are.

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“Beyond that, it’s inappropiate for us to comment further on it, since we’ve seen no paperwork on any suit.”

In her suit, Stanley said she took the USC job in 1989 at a salary of $60,000. She claimed USC withheld her paycheck because she refused to sign a one-year offer last March.

She alleges sex discrimination and retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of implied contract and conspiracy.

Stanley could not be reached for comment Thursday.

A USC source added: “Marianne wants to be paid like (USC men’s basketball Coach) George Raveling, or to go from point A to point C. What we offered her put her at point B, headed toward C, and she turned that down.

“We’re looking at several options, and one of them is to find a new basketball coach.”

Stanley’s team was 22-7 last season and finished second to Stanford in the Pacific 10 Conference race.

Stanley began her USC tenure with an 8-19 season, then improved to 18-12 and 23-8 before last season’s team lost in the NCAA tournament’s round of 16 to eventual NCAA champion Texas Tech.

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Tara VanDerveer, Stanford women’s coach, said Thursday that there are “huge discrepancies across the country” in women’s and men’s basketball coaching salaries.

“There are more and more schools now where parity has been reached with salaries, such as at Rutgers, Stanford and the California state schools, but most schools haven’t done it,” she said.

Twice in the last four years, VanDerveer’s teams have won national championships.

“A year and a half ago, I was making $60,000 less than Stanford’s men’s coach (Mike Montgomery), and our games outdrew the men’s team and we had better seasons.

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“It wasn’t a fair situation, so our athletic director, Ted Leland, and (associate athletic director) Cheryl Levick, put me on a program where that disparity will be eliminated over a year and a half.”


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