Sports Law • Risk Management

Title IX

February 20, 2011: Wrestling with the Issue of Boys vs. Girls on the Mat

It is unfortunate that Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore, had to make the decision of whether it was right for him to wrestle a girl when matched against Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman. He decided that it was not appropriate and that it was against his faith for him to engage the girl on the mat in the state wrestling tournament. As I see it, few young men would have the courage to assert their moral beliefs publically and give up the opportunity to wrestle in a championship event. On the other hand, Cassy was courageous and skilled enough to wrestle against boys and get as far as the state tournament. These kids are both winners.

July 27, 2010: The Ruling: Cheerleading Not a Sport

In a much publicized Title IX suit, a federal judge ruled against Quinnipiac University. As part of the judge’s decision, the judge declared that cheerleading at Quinnipiac is not a sport. Thus, in its current state, cheerleading cannot be counted towards Title IX compliance at Quinnipiac.

As shocking as this ruling seems on its face, arguably this might not be a setback for women in athletics. Although the judge did not allow Quinnipiac to count cheerleading towards Title IX compliance, this in effect can offer more opportunities for women to participate in athletics.

July 12, 2010: TITLE IX: Check With Legal Counsel Before Altering College Sports Programs

Prior to cutting college sports programs or its coaches, consult legal counsel. This seems like a simple concept, but Diablo Valley College still managed to get itself into hot water. When the college tried to eliminate funding for several men’s and women’s sports teams, it triggered a gender equality Title IX compliance investigation by the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). Early on the college succumbed to the pressure and reinstated the sports teams, but refused to rehire the coaches who made the complaint to the OCR.