SBD/Issue 122/Franchises

WNBA Coach Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Rumors On Internet

Overton Resigns As Sky Coach
Amid Sexual Harassment Rumors
WNBA Sky GM & coach Bo Overton’s attorney David Little indicated that an Internet message board posting insinuating that Overton "sexually harassed his players resulted in Overton being forced out Wednesday, despite the [Sky] clearing him in an internal investigation,'' according to Tina Akouris of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Little: "Bo is wondering what the hell just happened to him. He was told to resign or be fired. The Sky did an internal investigation and cleared him." Someone on March 7 posted a message on the team's message board, chicagoskytalk.net, that indicated Overton "sexually harassed some players last season." A different poster, who claimed to be a parent of a Sky player, Sunday and Monday wrote that the "allegations were true." Sky President & CEO Margaret Stender Monday posted a message on the board "asking anyone who had any information about the allegations to let her and the Sky front office know about it." Stender: "I'm not at liberty to comment on the information (on the site), and I'm not going to comment on any personnel issues." But Little said that the Sky is "worried about the postings 'hurting their brand name.'" Little: "Rather than censor the (board), they chose to (get rid of) Bo." Sky Owner Michael Alter, when asked about the issue, said, "The decision was made Wednesday, and I'm going to have to give no-comments on that" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/14). Alter: "Our policy is to not comment on personnel decisions. People will have to draw their own conclusions or interpretations" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 3/13). Stender Wednesday added that the online allegations "did not directly lead to Overton's resignation, but she made it clear she took them seriously." Stender: "We unequivocally don't condone any kind of inappropriate conduct, especially related to sexual harassment, so we were really trying to invite input." Sky assistant coach Steve Key was promoted to replace Overton as GM & head coach (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/13).

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