Affidavit Constituted Direct Evidence of Age Discrimination; Summary Judgment Denied

In Howell v. Northwest Mississippi Community College, CASE NO. 3:23CV33-MPM-DAS, 2024 WL 1611897 (N.D.Miss. April 15, 2024), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim of age discrimination (in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act) arising from the non-renewal of plaintiff’s contract as head women’s basketball coach.

In reaching its conclusion, the court cited an affidavit submitted by the parent of one of plaintiff’s players, which provides as follows:

My daughter was an incoming freshman at Northwest Mississippi Community College for the fall semester of 2022. My daughter planned to play on the women’s basketball team. My daughter chose to attend Northwest in large part because of Coach Troy Howell. When I learned that Coach Howell was not going to be the Women’s Basketball Coach for the 2022 season, I called the interim Athletic Director, Dr. Matthew Domas. Dr. Matthew Domas told me the school was “going in a different direction” and was going to hire a “younger coach.”

This, held the court, amounted to “solid direct evidence of age discrimination.”

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