Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Judge Rules Against Quinnipiac; Women's Volleyball Reinstated, But Men's Indoor Track Eliminated

From the Associated Press:
Quinnipiac University reinstated its volleyball team Tuesday and dropped men's indoor track in response to an injunction issued last week in a gender equity lawsuit against the school.

The announcement came four days after U.S. Judge Stefan Underhill prevented the school from carrying out plans to eliminate the women's volleyball program, a move announced in March as part of budget cuts that also saw the elimination of men's outdoor track and golf.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut brought the lawsuit on behalf of the volleyball team and its coach, who argued that Quinnipiac isn't in compliance with the Title IX federal law mandating equal opportunities for female athletes.

Underhill found that the team is likely to win that argument, and also prohibited the university from eliminating any other women's teams or athletic participation opportunities until the lawsuit is decided.

University spokeswoman Lynn Bushnell declined to comment on the reason for eliminating the indoor track team, though school officials acknowledged during the court hearing that many of the athletes on that team also run cross country and outdoor track.

Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, said testimony at trial showed the budget cuts being sought by the school could be made without eliminating any teams.

"Therefore, today's decision to cut the men's indoor track team to keep the women's volleyball team is a false choice that unnecessarily pits men athletes against women athletes," he said.

Really? And why is that? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Roger I. Abrams, professor of law at Northeastern University, writing this past weekend in the Huffington Post:

Unless college women suddenly decide that they no longer wish to pursue college athletics, schools will have to save money by cutting only men's teams or finding some other means to balance their budgets.

Wonder where we've heard that before?

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