Lindy Vivas, Fresno State’s women’s volleyball coach, was awarded damages on Monday after alleging that the school discriminated against her based on her perceived sexual orientation and because she advocated for better access to sports facilities for women athletes. Vivas sought the case in 2004 after her contract was not renewed just two years after she led the team to the best year in its history, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. Still, Fresno State officials have announced that they will appeal the decision, upholding their position that the decision to fire Vivas was based on poor job performance.
“The jury saw exactly what was happening,” Vivas told the Associated Press. “[School officials] were targeting me, but what keeps getting lost in all this was there were 14 student-athletes who were caught in the crossfire.”
The $5.852 million award was based on Vivas’ back-wages, future lost pay, and emotional distress. Vivas’ lawyer, Dan Siegel, told the AP that this may be the largest sum of money granted to a coach suing under Title IX.