Jerry Baldwin, who served as the Negro Head Football coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette from 1999-2001, was victorious in his law suit which asserted that he was fired over his race. Not his won-loss record.
Baldwin amassed a fairly dismal 6-27 record, and school attorneys say attendance was very low at home games.
Certainly, the won-loss record played a role, no one could argue that. But, the jury found that it wasn't the sole reason for his dismissal.
Jurors found that Jerry Baldwin's race wasn't the only reason he lost the job, but was among the reasons. University officials broke his contract and inflicted emotional distress through negligence, according to the jury of six whites and six blacks.
Apparently, there was unequal support shown to Baldwin's program when compared to white coaches that preceded and followed him.
In closing arguments for the eight-day trial, Bernard said white coaches before and after Baldwin got new equipment and had a greater ability to market the football program via a coach's television show and through the university's marketing department. Baldwin worked with used equipment, the marketing director was fired his second year on the job, and he never had a coach's show to promote the football program, Bernard said.
The jury ruled in favor of compensatory damages.
Jurors voted 10-2 to award Baldwin $500,000 for general damages, including emotional distress; $600,000 for past lost wages; $900,000 for future lost wages, and $2,676 for special damages.
The university offered a feeble defense.
The same administration officials now accused of racial discrimination are the same people who gave Baldwin the job as the first black head coach at a major Louisiana university, Oats argued.
Well, that's just wonderful. And, eerily similar to the types of things we heard seeping out of South Bend after running Ty Willingham out of town, 'we gave the Negro a chance...we didn't support him once he lost a few games...but we gave him a chance..."
The university's lawyers were also dismayed with other elements of the plaintiff's case.
He also said there are no signs that Baldwin's ability to get another job in coaching has been hampered by the firing, and Baldwin's attorneys did not present any evidence that he suffered extreme emotional distress.
It's a shame. Clearly, the neither the university nor their counsel are able to relate to the trials and tribulations their unsupportive environment caused their Negro coach.
Mr. Baldwin is no longer in coaching. That is evidence enough that his prospects for further employment have been hampered. And, Mr. Baldwin is now a minister at New Living Word Ministries, a clear demonstration of his quest to find peace and salvation after the emotional and mental torture he endured at the hands of the administration of UL-L.
Certainly, Ty Willingham is taking notes.