An incident with an assistant coach may be the reason one of San Diego’s most successful coaches stepped down unexpectedly.
In her 16 years, Beth Burns has more wins than any coach in the history of San Diego State University women’s basketball. She was named conference coach of the year the past two seasons. However, less than a year into a new five year contract, Burns announced in April she would be stepping down. At the time, there was little explanation by Burns or the school.
Now it appears it may all go back to a game against Colorado State last February. In a video of that game, obtained by the San Diego Union Tribune, Burns can be seen twice making contact with an assistant coach. The first time, she appears to hit a clipboard the assistant is holding. Later, she appears to hit that coach in the shoulder.
According to Burns’ attorney, the assistant coach in that video is Adam Barrett. On Tuesday, NBC 7 obtained a settlement stating that SDSU will pay Barrett and his attorney a total of $250,000. The settlement cites a dispute over Barrett’s contract not being renewed. It does not mention Beth Burns.
On Tuesday, NBC 7 spoke to the attorney representing Beth Burns. Ed Chapin says Burns was told that what happened with Barrett during that February game is the sole reason she was asked to step down. Chapin said Burns was surprised and upset. Chapin said they are preparing for a potential lawsuit against the school, but have not filed anything at this point.
SDSU has not commented on the case.