White Football Coach Who Sued HBCU Gets $240,000 Settlement

White Football Coach Who Sued HBCU Gets $240,000 Settlement

Former Savannah State University football coach Robby Wells received a $240,000 settlement with school after he said he was fired because he was white.

Published December 2, 2011

A former football coach of Savannah State University has settled a discrimination lawsuit with the school after he says he was fired because he is white.


Robby Wells received a $240,000 settlement from the historically Black college, stemming from a federal suit filed against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and several SSU administrators, the Savannah Morning News reports.


Wells resigned from his post last January. At the time, he said he was leaving for personal reasons, but later in a court filing said he was pressured by school administrators who didn’t approve of his engagement to a Black woman. Wells also charged that the five white players he recruited were not offered scholarships or given a place on the team after he left in 2010.


The school countered that problems with Wells had been growing since he was hired in 2007. SSU cited that issues ranging from his refusal to follow protocol to misuse of travel funds had strained the relationship. Despite agreeing to the terms of the settlement, neither the school nor the Board of Regents has admitted to wrongdoing.


Nonetheless, any bad blood appears to have been washed clean, at least for the school, which released a statement on Nov. 21 that called Wells “the (school’s) most successful on-the-field coach in a decade” and absolved him and his staff of any blame for sanctions against the football program.


Under Wells’ tutelage, the football team posted a 5-7 record for the 2008 season and went 2-8 the following year. The Tigers haven’t fared any better in recent seasons: they won only one game under interim coach Julius Dixon in 2010 and one under first-year coach Steve Davenport this season.


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(Photo: SavannahState.edu)

Written by Britt Middleton


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