An agreement was reached Friday between the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Communities for Equity concerning a Title IX lawsuit filed in 1998. According to the Associated Press, the MHSAA has agreed to pay $6 million in legal fees by 2015 to Communities for Equity, who won the lawsuit in 2001.
In the 2001 case ruling, US District Judge Richard A. Enslen ordered the MHSAA to re-schedule the girls’ athletic season to be compatible with the boys’ athletic season, which mirrored the seasons used by colleges and universities.
The lawsuit claimed that the MHSAA’s scheduling of girls sports in 1998 did not follow colleges and universities and was therefore detrimental to female athletes because it limited news coverage of their games and their ability to play for college recruiters that follow the university schedule. The suit argued that the scheduling policy violated equal protection rights under the fourteenth amendment, Michigan civil rights laws, and Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally funded education programs, including athletics.