Title IX Complaint Brings Coach's Firing, Then AD Resigns

East Tennessee State University (1)

East Tennessee State University is searching for both a new athletic director and a head coach for its women's basketball team after making two sudden announcements Monday morning.

As reported by NBC affiliate WBIR in Knoxville, ETSU said it intends to fire women's basketball head coach Simon Harris effective 5 p.m. on August 15. The university said he has been suspended without pay in the meantime.

Harris' firing came after the university launched an investigation into a Title IX complaint alleging discrimination and unfair treatment made during the spring 2022 semester by former members of the women's basketball team, WBIR reported. ETSU said investigators uncovered "numerous causes for concern." 

ETSU said Harris has been told not to interact with current or prospective student-athletes or other members of the athletics department.

Just before announcing its intent to fire Harris, ETSU also announced Monday that its athletic director, Scott Carter, had resigned from his position effective immediately. Carter had served as ETSU's AD since October 2017. ETSU did not say if Carter's departure was related to Harris' firing. 

"His commitment to ETSU Athletics, his decency and his love of sport are unquestionable," ETSU president Brian Noland said, as.reported by WBIR. "Mr. Carter and I have discussed the future of collegiate athletics at length and agreed it is best for him to take a step back from this environment and spend more time with his wife and two children who are in high school. I would like to thank Scott for his service and dedication to ETSU.”

ETSU said former AD Richard Sander will serve as the school's interim AD until it can find a permanent replacement. The university said it would also name an acting women's basketball head coach in the coming days.

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