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USF chronology

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001

JANUARY 1999: Assistant women's basketball coach John Hughes tells assistant athletic director Hiram Green that coaches frequently use the "n-word" during meetings. Green immediately tells athletic director Paul Griffin about the allegations. Griffin, according to Green, says he will look into it and get back to him.

EARLY 1999: Black players complain to Green about mistreatment by women's basketball coach Jerry Ann Winters.

EARLY MARCH 1999: Griffin asks Green to begin investigation of players' discrimination claims.

APRIL 1, 1999: Green concludes racism existed within the program and reports his findings to Griffin, suggesting in his cover letter that a "more extensive inquiry" is warranted.

AUG. 10, 1999: Green says he is instructed to write a letter to the EOA stating the athletic department had resolved the problems within the women's basketball program.

OCTOBER 1999: Winters is given a two-year contract extension by Griffin.

APRIL 10, 2000: Winters dismisses point guard Dione Smith from the team.

APRIL 26, 2000: Smith contacts the university's Office of Equal Opportunity Affairs, alleging Winters dismissed her in retaliation for her racial discrimination complaints.

AUGUST 2000: Green briefs new university President Judy Genshaft on "the extent of racism (in the women's program) and the failure of the university to act."

AUG. 24, 2000: Smith files federal racial discrimination lawsuit against Winters, Griffin and USF.

AUG. 28, 2000: Smith files formal complaint against Winters with the EOA.

SEPT. 7, 2000: Genshaft asks Joseph W. Hatchett, former justice of the Florida Supreme Court and recently retired from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to oversee an investigation into the handling of discrimination allegations.

SEPT. 25, 2000: Former assistant coach Tara Gibson files an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Winters and USF, alleging she was not retained because of her race.

SEPT. 27, 2000: Former player Avia Lee files a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against Winters and USF.

OCT. 10, 2000: Hatchett clarifies that his investigation would be limited to the university's policies and procedures for discrimination claims and not whether the claims have merit.

OCT. 10, 2000: Former players LaTonya Greer and Patrice Coleman file federal racial discrimination lawsuits against Winters and USF.

OCT. 12, 2000: USF begins investigation into claims by former players that the coaching staff allowed them to make personal long-distance phone calls from the basketball office, a possible NCAA violation.

OCT. 24, 2000: Former players Tanya Gary and Tamekia Williams file federal racial discrimination lawsuits against Winters and USF.

OCT. 25, 2000: Griffin suspends Winters with pay after EOA report finds reasonable cause to believe Winters dismissed Smith in retaliation.

NOV. 16, 2000: Winters appeals the university's EOA report.

NOV. 22, 2000: Former players Charmain Leslie and LaToya Ward file federal racial discrimination lawsuits against Winters and USF.

DEC. 14, 2000: Winters is fired after her EOA appeal is denied.

JAN. 23, 2001: Hatchett's report concludes that the athletic department operated within university policy when it conducted an in-house investigation into allegations of racial discrimination but that it should have turned the matter over to the EOA. Genshaft says Griffin will not be disciplined but immediately implements a new policy for discrimination complaints, including mandatory reporting of such complaints by university supervisors to the EOA office.

FEB. 28, 2001: Speaking for the first time since reports of the problems surfaced in August, Green alleges Griffin tried to cover up allegations of racial discrimination within the women's basketball program and produces documents to support his claims.

MARCH 9, 2001: Griffin resigns.

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