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Mizzou Settles Coach's Discrimination Suit for $1.1M

Paul Steinbach

Carjay Lyles, a former University of Missouri track and field coach, has settled his 2018 racial discrimination lawsuit against the school.

As reported by the Columbia Missourian, Lyles sued the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, head track and field coach Brett Halter and former associate athletic director for compliance Mitzi Clayton who now serves as MU's director of community relations and NCAA certification.

Lyles worked for MU from 2013 to July 2017, when he left because of "intolerable working conditions," according to the lawsuit.

According to an October 13, 2020, Missourian report, the lawsuit alleged that Halter discriminated against Lyles multiple times in comments to and about him, humiliated him in public and failed to consider promotion as compared to other staff.

The lawsuit alleged that Halter, who is white, "would refer to Black athletes and staff members as 'you people.' " It also alleged that amid civil unrest on MU's campus in fall 2015, Halter asked Lyles to seed grass on his lawn. Lyles refused to do so.

"I live at MKT and KT (Katy) Trail and if I have one more K, you sure won't be coming because three Ks in a row, there won't be any of you coming," Halter responded, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleged that Lyles was reprimanded for being late, even though other coaches were not, and that he was the only track coach who did not receive any type of promotion during the summer of 2016.

Additionally, it alleged that Lyles overheard a conversation where Halter discussed firing him and revoking scholarships from students who spoke up to defend him.

According to the lawsuit, Lyles was "constructively discharged" on July 6, 2017. He now works as an assistant coach at Mississippi State University, the Missourian reported.

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