Race Matters: Fired Black LSU Tennis Coach Sues University For Racial Discrimination Claiming White Coaches Made $30K More In Salary

After a 20-year career as the LSU women’s tennis coach, Tony Minnis, who was fired earlier this year, has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the university. Minnis is listed as the winningest women’s tennis coach.

Via NOLA reports:

“Tony Minnis finishes the 2012 spring season as the most decorated coach in LSU’s 37-year program history,” the university’s sports publication states.

LSU athletic director Joseph Alleva, Eddie Nunez, senior associate to the athletic director and Miriam Segar, senior women’s administrator, have been named individually in the lawsuit filed Tuesday.

According to the lawsuit, Minnis claims white coaches received annual salaries up to more than $30,000 than him, unjust evaluations, false letters of reprimand, unfound write-ups and race-based discrimination in the workplace.

Herb Vincent, LSU’s senior associate athletic director told NOLA.com that LSU doesn’t comment on pending litigation but the university denies all allegations outlined in the suit.

Minnis was terminated on June 30 after qualifying for the NCAA tournament for the 15th time. Juila Sell, who replaced Minnis, came to LSU from the United States Tennis Association, where she served as the national coach of the regional training center in south Florida since August 2011.

“I was accused of some really petty things,” Minnis said in a phone interview with NOLA.com Wednesday evening. In one instance, Minnis describes where he was accused of stealing money but he was actually using money to purchase meals for kids in the tennis program.

In another incident, Minnis describes he was accused of stealing money when he used funds to purchase motivational books for his team to read over Christmas break one year.

Minnis said issues with the athletic department began around spring 2008, in which he began questioning his salary in comparisons to other coaches in the league.

According to a LSU salary database obtained by the Daily Reveille, Minnis earned $85,000 per year. Minnis said the new coach comes in at $110,000 at her base.

“It’s hard to say, if it’s racial or personal, but when the facts come out, people understand why I filed the suit,” Minnis said. One of the most important things, Minnis said, is clearing his name.

According to the article, Coach Minnis had an outstanding record at LSU. One would think, he would be one of the highest paid tennis coaches in the SEC given his record.

LSU has always taken care of their coaches financially and if this case is different, then A.D. Alleva needs to explain his reasoning. LSU does not need the negative publicity generated by racial legal proceedings.

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