Competitive cheerleading case could affect Title IX landscape: A U.S. district court in Connecticut ruled that Quinnipiac’s competitive-cheerleading squad cannot be used to meet Title IX requirements. The ruling may affect other NCAA institutions interested in sponsoring competitive cheer as a varsity sport. Read the story
According to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, to be counted as a varsity sport for Title IX purposes, a sport must:
Quinnipiac will keep its women’s volleyball and competitive cheer teams, while also adding women’s golf and rugby teams to provide more athletics opportunities for female student-athletes, according to a plan filed in federal court last week.
Several women’s volleyball players and their coach sued the university in March 2009 when Quinnipiac cut women’s volleyball, men’s golf and men’s outdoor track to help balance its budget. The school added competitive cheer. The women’s volleyball players alleged that the university violated Title IX.
Last month, a federal court decided that competitive cheer as conducted by Quinnipiac was not a sport that could be used to meet Title IX requirements. Judge Stefan Underhill ordered the school to keep volleyball for a year and develop a plan to comply with the federal anti-discrimination law.
While not an NCAA championship sport, rugby is considered an emerging sport by the Association.
“Quinnipiac University plans to increase its investment in women’s athletics in the years ahead,” Lynn Bushnell, the school’s vice president for public affairs, said in a prepared statement.
Mark Thompson, senior vice president for academic and student affairs, monitor all team rosters. The school had been found to engage in deceptive roster practices.
The court must approve Quinnipiac’s plan.