Media Coverage for Women's Sport
Kathleen Ramunni of the Hamden Patch reports:
Quinnipiac University will spend more money, allocate more scholarships and improve the infrastructure used by the school’s women’s sports teams under a settlement reached in a case accusing the university of violating Title IX requirements.
Last week the U.S. District Court approved a Consent Decree resolving the case of Biediger, et al. v. Quinnipiac University, according to a release from Pullman and Comley, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys. In the case the plaintiffs contended that Quinnipiac violated the terms required of Title IX, which bars gender discrimination in collegiate athletics.
Judge Stefan R. Underhill characterized the settlement as a “win-win,” according to reports.
“This settlement represents an historic and far-reaching advance for women’s college athletics,” said Sandra Staub, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. “It offers a clear example to colleges and universities across the nation on providing fair treatment of and equal opportunities for their female athletes.”
“This Consent Decree commits Quinnipiac University to significant improvements in its varsity athletics programs for women, including improved facilities, more scholarships, additional coaches, and other benefits of participating in varsity intercollegiate sports,” said Jonathan Orleans, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys. “We are very pleased that we were able to achieve such a positive result for the University’s female athletes. We thank the University for coming to the table and reaching this agreement, which we believe will also benefit the University in the long run. Finally, we salute the athletes and coaches who were brave enough to stand up and be heard in this important case.”
The law firms of Pullman & Comley, LLC and Equity Legal in Alexandria, Virginia, filed the suit in 2009 on behalf of five volleyball players and their coach after Quinnipiac announced its intent to eliminate the women’s volleyball team. The case was certified as a class action in 2010.
The case went on for four years, during which time the plaintiffs won five decisions in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court, according to a release from Pullman and Comley. The court ruled that Quinnipiac did not comply with Title IX in the operation of its varsity athletic program.
According to the release, as part of the settlement, Quinnipiac will retain all of its existing women’s teams including volleyball, will allocate more scholarships to female athletes, and will improve the benefits provided to most of its women’s teams. Quinnipiac has already added varsity women’s golf and rugby and expanded its women’s track program.
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