Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk reportedly has been fined.
On Thursday, The Kansas City Star’s Chris Fickett reported that the SEC had fined Sterk $25,000. The development came shortly after it was revealed that South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley had filed a defamation lawsuit against Sterk, who alleged that Staley “promoted” an atmosphere that allegedly led to Tigers players being spit on by fans during a game between Missouri and South Carolina on Jan. 28 in Columbia, S.C.
Just in from SEC office: Sterk fined $25K and reprimanded & conference will review South Carolina’s game management procedures and visiting team security. https://t.co/p2nuCZdaV6
— Chris Fickett (@ChrisFickett) February 22, 2018
The Kansas City’s Aaron Reiss reported that Staley is seeking an award of no more than $75,000, per the suit.
The lawsuit stems from Sterk’s comments, which were made in January during an interview with KTGR after the game. In that interview, Sterk said, “It’s wasn’t a great atmosphere” and that “Coach Staley promoted” the elements that led to South Carolina fans allegedly spitting on Missouri players. The incident occurred after a scuffle happened during the game.
The tension between Missouri and South Carolina continued. Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner released a statement saying that the school “received no confirmation of the alleged behavior.” Shortly after, South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin used Twitter to defend Staley in a passionate message.
On Jan. 31, Staley responded to Sterk’s statements by saying, “The accusations are serious and false. It’s going to be handled, but not right here, and not in the manner in which they were dealt. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
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