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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Third UMD women's coach leaving her job in Duluth

The women's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth resigned Monday. In a statement release to the Duluth News-Tribune through her attorney, Annette Wiles said "it is no longer healthy for me to continue to work in the current UMD athletic department environment."

Wiles is the third UMD women's coach to leave the school in recent months.

Women's hockey coach Shannon Miller was told in December that her contract would not be renewed; softball coach Jen Banford turned down a one-year contract offer from the school after being told that she would no longer continue her other job as director of women's hockey operations.

All three coaches are working with the same legal team. Complaints on behalf of Miller and Banford have already been filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Wiles' teams went to the NCAA Division II national tournament twice and went 12-15 this year, her only losing season since taking the job in 2008.

In December, Miller was called into a meeting with UMD officials and told that the school could no longer afford her contract, which had a base salary of $207,000. Her teams won five NCAA titles.

“This is a slap in the face to our gender,” Miller told the Star Tribune's Rachel Blount in February. “I’m concerned about what this says to society about the value of women.”

Today's report from the Duluth newspaper is here.

You can read Blount's story from February here.

FOX Sports letting go of regional sports reporters

FOX Sports is eliminating its roster of sports reporters whose work appears on regional web sites.

At FSNorth, writers Tyler Mason and Brian Hall acknowledged via Twitter over the weekend that they are being let go, responding to fans who were wishing them well.

The move does not have an impact on the FOX regional baseball telecasts, the network said in a statement.

"We're shifting our digital strategy away from traditional editorial to focus more on producing short-form video content, which is more closely aligned with our core sports video business," Fox Sports said in a statement. "As a result, we have made the decision to significantly reduce the use of freelance writers who have been contributing to our local websites."

In a statement reported by the Detroit News and others, FOX Sports said in a media release: "We're shifting our digital strategy away from traditional editorial to focus more on producing short-form video content, which is more closely aligned with our core sports video business. As a result, we have made the decision to significantly reduce the use of freelance writers who have been contributing to our local websites."

Several media outlets have reported the final day for the FOX writers will be June 30.

Current Star Tribune baseball writer Phil Miller wrote for the FSNorth web site for a while after being laid off by the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 2009.


 

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