UC-Davis found guilty of not providing gender equity in athletics

Syeda Hasan

A federal court issued a split ruling in a case that found the University of California at Davis guilty of violating Title IX sports regulations Wednesday.

The dispute came about when university officials cut some sports programs for its female athletes and did not create new opportunities to allow them to stay involved in university athletics.

Members of the university’s female wrestling team sued the school for not complying with Title IX, a federal law that requires colleges and universities to provide the same number of opportunities for male and female athletes to ensure gender equity in athletic programs. Noreen Farrell, the attorney who represented the female athletes, said in a statement that providing women with equal opportunities in sports programs through Title IX is an extension of providing them with equal educational opportunities as college students.

“As the Court’s decision reflects, schools such as UC Davis must make gender equity a priority,” Farrell said. “Generations of young women depend on it.”

U.S. District Court Judge Frank Damrell said in his ruling the University of California at Davis was found guilty because it could not provide sufficient evidence it had worked to expand programs available to its female athletes, but the ruling also cleared four university administrators of liability in civil rights claims for discriminating against the female athletes.

“When an institution loses over 60 opportunities in two years and never fully regains all of those opportunities over the next four years, such an institution cannot be held to be Title IX compliant,” Damrell said in the ruling.

Printed on Monday, August 8th, 2011 as: UC-Davis found non-compliant with Title IX sports regulations