The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Title IX compliance on Thursday in their decision on a lawsuit filed by a group male wrestlers, claiming that the university was discriminating against them on the basis of sex. Essentially the ruling allows California State University at Bakersfield to eliminate men’s teams or reduce the number of men on teams to comply with gender equity goals, or, for that matter, to simply increase the number of women athletes.
The decision, written by Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall, affirmed similar ruling in other athletics programs. Citing the 1999 U.S. soccer team’s Women’s World Cup championship, Judge Hall said “Today we join our sister circuits in holding that Title IX does not bar universities from taking steps to ensure that women are approximately as well represented in sports programs as they are in student bodies.”
California NOW had filed a suit claiming that Cal State had too few female athletes to meet any of the three tests of Title IX – substantial proportionality, history and continuing practice of expanding women’s athletic programs, or demonstrating accommodations for women’s interests and abilities are being met. As a result, a cap was placed on the number of male athletes for each team at Cal-State.