SAN DIEGO – Former San Diego State University women's basketball coach Beth Burns spoke to 10News Thursday morning, one day after a jury awarded her $3.3 million in damages on her claim that she was wrongfully fired in retaliation for demanding equal treatment for female athletes.
Burns was fired in April 2013 following a school-record 27-win season, and nine months after she'd been given a five-year contract extension worth $220,000 per year.
Burns filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and whistleblower retaliation for complaining about equal treatment for women's athletic programs.
"It's over,” Burns told 10News of the ordeal. “It's been a long time... I'm so thankful that a jury of my peers gave up a month of their lives to stay and listen and give me an opportunity to have my voice. And at this point it's a new day, and I can't wait to get back up the road and get back to work."
Burns is in her third season as an associate head coach at USC, a job which pays her about $150,000 per season.
Burns did not want to comment on the video that is at the center of the case. The video appears to show her hitting assistant head coach Adam Barrett with a clipboard during a 2013 game against Colorado State.
"I really feel at this point that yesterday ended this chapter,” Burns said. “Again, a verdict was given that I wasn't at fault."
Burns' attorney, Ed Chapin, said SDSU "assassinated'' Burns' character during the trial and said it will be difficult for her to get her reputation back.
David Noonan, the lead attorney for the California State University system, told the jury that Burns had trouble controlling her emotions and from the university's standpoint, none of its employees should have to go to work and be confronted by "an out-of-control boss."