Prairie View A&M parts ways with women’s basketball coach over alleged Title IX violation

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PRAIRIE VIEW, TX - Dawn Brown is no longer the head coach of Prairie A&M's women's basketball team. Brown was fired over an alleged violation of Title IX.

The alleged violation stems from Brown dismissing two of her players from the team because the two players were dating each other.

Brown had a policy put in place before the season that stated, "Players may not have non-professional relationships with other players, coaches, managers, trainers, or any other persons affiliated with the women's basketball program."

In a statement to NewsFix, Brown said, "Not only was this rule approved by the University's Title IX office, but a copy of the rule was given to the athletic department. Until this investigation, I was never notified of any Title IX issue with the rule and trusted the advice I received from my Title IX office and my Director of Athletics." (full statement below)

Brown finished her coaching run at Prairie View with a 41-51 record in three seasons.  In 2014, the Panthers won the SWAC Tournament Championship, earning a spot in the NCAA Women's Basketball Division I Tournament.

 

Dawn Brown Statement:

Today, my athletic director, Mr. Ashley Robinson, notified me that my employment as Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Prairie View A&M University has been terminated for cause, effective immediately. This decision was based on an alleged Title IX violation stemming from the removal of two student-athletes from our team following their violation of team rules.

This past August, after a situation involving an inappropriate relationship between a coach and a player that resulted in the termination of the coach involved, I collaborated with my Title IX office in drafting a rule to prohibit non-professional relationships between individuals affiliated with our team. The language of the rule read, “Players may not have non-professional relationships with other players, coaches, managers, trainers, or any other persons affiliated with the women’s basketball program.” Not only was this rule approved by the University’s Title IX office, but a copy of the rule was given to the athletic department. Until this investigation, I was never notified of any Title IX issue with the rule and trusted the advice I received from my Title IX office and my Director of Athletics.

Following a violation of multiple team rules this season, including the prohibition of non-professional relationships, two student-athletes were suspended from team activities. This decision was extremely difficult for me but was made with consultation, encouragement and approval from my Director of Athletics. These women were allowed to keep their scholarships and remain students at Prairie View A&M.

I admit that I held two players accountable for not complying with team rules. Today, Prairie View A&M fired me because its investigation determined that the rule in question violated Title IX even though the same Title IX office that conducted the investigation helped me draft the rule two years ago.  Clearly, I feel betrayed and unjustly penalized by this action.

Despite today’s events I remain hopeful because I know that God has a plan for me and my family. I look forward to continuing my coaching career and serving as a positive influence for young women on and off the court again in the near future.

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