Clark Atlanta turned many heads earlier this week when it announced head women’s basketball coach Yolanda Moore was taking a seemingly abrupt “leave of absence.” According to Moore, that absence was forced by a toxic climate for women in the athletic department.
Moore’s statement specifically mentioned CAU Director of Athletics J. Lin Dawson, according to The Atlanta Voice. Dawson is accused of physical and psychological intimidation in addition to gender equality issues. A letter sent out by Moore alleges that Dawson has “physically lunged at female coaches or staff members angrily.”
“I have been on medical leave due to the mistreatment and mental stress and the physical intimidation (Dawson) demonstrated toward me that put me in fear of my personal safety,” Moore said. “I have made several complaints and filed several reports to the office of compliance.”
According to the letter, scholarships have been cut for women’s sports, along with salary reductions. It also claims there has been a failure to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct between male coaches and female student-athletes.
This is a stunning development in a relationship that has been one of the bright stories in HBCU sports over the past year. Moore, a former WNBA star, oversaw a turnaround of the CAU women’s basketball program which resulted in the 2018 SIAC Tournament Championship and an NCAA appearance. Her assistant, Tony Bailey, was named acting head coach earlier in the week. Moore says she was not told about the move before the release was given.
Clark Atlanta has been contacted for a response and we will update the story when we receive one.