Moody, Iowa State settle discrimination suit for $60,000
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A lawsuit filed by a former star player against Iowa State women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly has been settled for $60,000.
Nikki Moody had sued Fennelly, the university and the state of Iowa for racial discrimination and retaliation, saying she was repeatedly called a ''thug'' and labeled a selfish player despite being the program's career assists leader. A trial was set for September.
The school said Thursday that the Iowa attorney general's office had reached a settlement agreement. Moody will receive $35,600, with the rest going to attorneys.
The deal includes no admission of guilt by the defendants.
Fennelly had been dismissed from the lawsuit in April, one month after he agreed to a contract extension through 2022. He has been Iowa State's coach for 22 seasons.
Phone messages left by The Associated Press for Fennelly and Brooke Timmer, one of the attorneys representing Moody, were not immediately returned.
Moody, who graduated in 2015 as a four-year starter and an honorable mention All-American as a senior, had claimed that the abuse caused her severe emotional distress. Moody added that her complaints to assistant coaches and a senior athletics administrator brought no response.
Fennelly defended himself to reporters a few weeks after Moody filed her suit, saying he wouldn't change the way he coaches because he's motivated to make players accountable and to do the right thing.
''I'm not going to deny who I am. I'm a passionate, emotional person, because every day I am 100 percent committed, invested, in the people I work with and I work for. I will not apologize for that,'' Fennelly said in April 2016. ''But I am not - I am not - the person I've been accused of being.''
Fennelly, a fiery but popular coach with Iowa State's fans, is 465-236 with the Cyclones. After a rough start to last season, Iowa State rallied to make the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in 11 seasons.
The Cyclones also typically rank among the nation's top teams in attendance. Iowa State ranked third in the country with 9,833 fans per home game in 2015-16 despite winning just 13 games.