Clark Atlanta University’s women’s basketball head coach Yolanda Moore has released a statement in opposition to a release shared from the university regarding her “leave of absence.” Moore and other women coaches at Clark Atlanta have filed numerous complaints with Debra Hoyt, Clark Atlanta’s director of human resources.
The women have complained that the university’s athletic director James Linwood Dawson Jr. has created a toxic environment that heavily discriminates against women and female athletics.
Further, the complaints reveal, female athletics teams have lost scholarships and have not been treated equally like the male sports at Clark Atlanta University.
“The unfair treatment of the female student-athletes and the coaches need justice,” Moore said. “We have been treated unfairly and we have made all of these complaints to (Human Resources) and the university’s President (Ronald A. Johnson). Yet, nothing has been done.”
Earlier this week, on July 9, Clark Atlanta University’s athletic department distributed a news release that revealed Moore would be “remaining on an official leave of absence” and promoting Moore’s assistant coach, Tony Bailey, to acting head coach during Moore’s absence.
The release did not state the reason for Moore’s leave of absence or how long the absence would last.
The Atlanta Voice asked athletics media relations officials about the leave of absence and were told, “You got what you got.”
Follow up attempts to receive more clarity from university officials about the release were replied with, “It is what it is.”
In Moore’s own formal complaint to Hoyt on yesterday, she said she asked Clark Atlanta’s Add Seymour about details regarding language made in the release that she found to be incorrect:
“I spoke with Add Seymour yesterday to tell him that his information about me being out on ‘official leave’ was incorrect … (Seymour)’s response to me was, ‘Coach, I just wrote what I was told to write. I just did what I was told to do and I have been getting questions from people asking if you were coming back and I told them yes.’”
Moore also said she was disappointed that she was not informed of the personnel change until it was announced in a 4:27 a.m. email to athletics department personnel and then in the release later that day. In her first season with the Lady Panthers, Moore led the team to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.
“No one from the athletic department or the university office of human resources or the president’s office contact me to discuss this or inform me that (the personnel change) was even necessary given the fact that I have been out on medical leave since May 15 and (I) am scheduled to return July 22.
“I have been on medical leave due to the mistreatment and mental stress and the physical intimidation (Dawson) demonstrated toward me that put me in fear of my personal safety. I have made several complaints and filed several reports to the office of compliance.”
Other formal complaints against Dawson to Clark Atlanta’s human resources department allege that several coaches and administrative staff members — current and past — have been subjected to harsh and unwarranted criticism, physical and psychological intimidation tactics, as well as gender equity and equality issues.
A June 29 letter by coaches Lawanda Pearson, Pamela Page and Moore addresses the concerns on behalf of themselves and five other female athletic personnel.
Copies of the letter were also sent to the Johnson, board of trustees chairman Gregory Morrison, the university’s attorney Lance Dunnings and the university’s compliance office Robert Clark.
“There have been at least two instances where A.D. Dawson physically lunged at female coaches and or staff angrily,” the letter states. “We have been subjected to harsh and unwarranted criticism, physical and psychological intimidation tactics, as well as gender equity and equality issues.”
Further, the letter states, “We have had scholarships cut for various women’s sports, demotions and salary reductions; we have had allegations of sexual misconduct between male coaches and female student-athletes, that had never been addressed (as of 6/24/18.)”
The letter also addresses a lack of confidence in Title IX representative Ramona Roman.
According to the NCAA.org, “Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
“We have been told that we have an advocate in human resources (Ms. Ramona Roman) and again, we have not found that to be so,” the complaint letter states. “We have lost (confidence) that our concerns and mistreatment go unaddressed and unresolved.”
Ultimately, Moore said she wants the university to take action on behalf of her safety and the safety of other women and female student-athletes in Clark Atlanta athletics.
The Atlanta Voice contacted Clark Atlanta athletics to get a response from Dawson about Moore’s claims. We were told Dawson was unavailable to give a statement.