U. of Arizona Settles with Athlete in Coach Assault Case

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The University of Arizona has settled a lawsuit filed in 2015 by a former student-athlete who claimed the school failed to protect her from a former track-and-field coach now serving a five-year prison sentence.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Carter admitted to UA police that he grabbed thrower Baillie Gibson by the throat while wielding a box cutter in his other hand and threatening to cut her face. The two had been involved in a years-long sexual relationship that Gibson said was not consensual. Carter was sentenced to five years in prison last May after a Pima County jury convicted him of two felony counts of aggravated assault.

Gibson filed a lawsuit against Carter and the UA in November 2015, saying that school officials knew about the relationship for nearly two years before Carter’s attack but failed to intervene. No settlement figures were immediately available, but Gibson initially asked for $2.5 million to settle her claim.

Because Carter was a state employee, his defense in the civil suit was paid for by the Arizona Department of Administration’s Risk Management Division. As of March 23, $2,653,571 had been paid by the Arizona Department of Administration's Risk Management Diviison defending Carter, the university and former athletic director Greg Byrne, who was dismissed from the suit in 2017. The settlement effectively ends Gibson’s dispute with the UA and Carter.

Court documents filed Monday show not only that a settlement was reached in Gibson’s lawsuit, but also in a counterclaim of intentional infliction of emotional distress filed by Gibson and his wife in May 2016.

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