Sue Ann Easterling had experience coaching gymnastics, softball, basketball, volleyball and track. Then she applied for a job as head football coach/athletic director. She had never coached football and never served as A.D.
She didn’t get the job. In fact, she didn’t get an interview. The school district offered the job to one guy, who turned it down at the last minute, and then they promoted their interim coach to the job.
Ms. Easterling sued and took it all the way to the 5th Circuit. But she lost her case. The district offered several good reasons for its decision not to hire her. The district saved money by hiring the interim guy who was already an employee. Plus, this contributed to continuity in the football program. But I suspect that the main reason they passed on Ms. Easterling was because of her lack of experience as either a football coach, or an A.D.
What’s noteworthy about this very simple case is how the district did not muck it up by saying things that, perhaps, some of the people in the district thought. Apparently, nobody said things like:
*But you are a woman—you can’t coach football.
**Hah!! Are you crazy?!?!
***Our boosters would never accept a woman in that position.
****There are no female football coaches in Louisiana and we don’t want to be first.
Nope. They stuck to the basics. We want someone who has some experience, and you don’t have it.
The case of Easterling v. Tensas Parish School Board was decided by the 5th Circuit on March 20, 2017. We found it at 2017 WL 1065531.
DAWG BONE: JUST WONDERING: DO WE HAVE FEMALE FOOTBALL COACHES IN TEXAS? FLORIDA HAS ONE. SO DO THE ARIZONA CARDINALS.
File this one under: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday and a new piece of legislation!