Federal Appeals Court Upholds Title IX Ruling Against Quinnipiac University

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
August 7, 2012 3:46 pm

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ACLU Had Charged School with Discrimination Against Female Athletes after Sports Programs Were Cut

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NEW YORK – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed today that Quinnipiac University fails to provide equal athletic opportunities for women and upheld an order that requires the school to stop discriminating against female athletes.

The three-judge panel upheld a 2010 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stefan R. Underhill, who ordered Quinnipiac to maintain its women’s varsity volleyball team until it can prove it complies with Title IX, the law requiring universities that receive federal funding to provide equal athletic participation opportunities for men and women.

“We expect the Second Circuit’s decision to finally persuade Quinnipiac and any other university in violation of Title IX to stop fighting gender equity and start providing meaningful and equal athletic opportunities for women,” said Sandra Staub, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. The Second Circuit characterized Judge Underhill’s decision as a “comprehensive and well-reasoned opinion.”

Shortly after Quinnipiac announced in 2009 that it planned to eliminate its women’s volleyball team, the ACLU of Connecticut filed suit with cooperating attorneys Jonathan Orleans and Alex Hernandez of Pullman & Comley, LLC, and Kristen Galles of Equity Legal. Underhill ruled in 2010 that the case was a class action on behalf of all present and future female Quinnipiac students.

“All students, regardless of sex, are required by law to have the same meaningful athletic opportunities available to them,” said Lenora Lapidus, director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “Cutting corners doesn’t meet this standard and female athletes deserve better.”

The decision can be found at: www.aclu.org/womens-rights/biedigar-v-quinnipiac-university-decision

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