Before the new school year began, many universities across the country faced backlash for potential Title IX violations after cutting sports. One aspect of Title IX is to ensure equal opportunities for both men and women to participate in educational programs or activities if the educational institution receives assistance from the federal government.
In May 2021, five student-athletes from Stanford University filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university citing gender discrimination. This was after five women’s programs — field hockey, fencing, lightweight rowing, synchronized swimming, and squash — were to be cut by the university. The athletes who filed the suit said that doing so would leave an unequal number of men’s and women’s athletic programs.
Stanford officials countered that the intent was to cut 11 programs and save the university $12 million this fiscal year and up to $70 million in three years. Additionally, the school noted that the canceled sports would become club sports rather than varsity programs that the university called “nonrevenue-generating.”
University officials ended up not nixing the sports, but the lawsuit remained as the plaintiffs said they wanted to make sure Title IX compliance would be upheld.
A settlement was reached in August 2021. While details of the settlement weren’t released, it was announced that Stanford would have to be fully compliant with Title IX by the 2023-2024 school year and that it would have to be reflected on the school’s website by October 1, 2022.
Defending Your Case
Title IX violations are not always clear-cut, and that’s where the experienced Title IX attorneys at The Law Offices of Jed Silverman can help. While fair athletic programs are one aspect of Title IX, in recent years, the regulation has also been used to discipline students accused of misconduct such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking.
A false accusation could deter the lifepath of a student. Don’t face an accusation alone, especially if it involves something as complex as Title IX.