Former San Diego State University women's basketball coach Beth Burns'
sudden departure in April reportedly was tied to an in-game incident during
which she struck an assistant coach on the bench.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday that SDSU paid a $250,000 settlement to Adam Barrett, a first-year Aztecs assistant coach last season. The story refers to a video clip from San Diego State's Feb. 13 game against Colorado State in which Burns can be seen elbowing Barrett and striking a clipboard in his lap while the two are seated side by side on the bench. The newspaper posted the video clip on its website, utsandiego.com.
Burns' unexpected and then-unexplained departure from SDSU came shortly after she led the Aztecs to a school-record 27 wins and was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year.
Burns and San Diego State officials declined to comment for the Union-Tribune story, but former Aztecs lead assistant coach Jualeah Woods said Burns told her she was "terminated for hitting a subordinate." Woods is now coaching at the University of Southern California.
Woods and others quoted in the story called the bench incident commonplace and expressed surprise that it led to Burns' ouster. Burns' lawyer, Ed Chapin, indicated the 55-year-old coach may sue San Diego State for wrongful termination.
Barrett was recently hired as an assistant coach at St. Francis University.
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