California Title IX Case Settled for $725,000

Former University of California-Davis wrestling coach Michael Burch will receive a $725,000 settlement from UC-Davis after alleging that the university failed to renew his contract in retaliation for speaking out after the women’s wrestling team was cut. Burch sued the university for violating Title IX, the landmark federal legislation prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs, including athletics. The US Supreme Court in 2005 ruled that those who are the victims of retaliation for drawing attention to Title IX violations can sue under Title IX, in the case Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education.

“Mike should be applauded for his courage in standing firm to the very end of this difficult saga,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund interim director, which supported Burch in his case. “It’s regrettable that the university didn’t do right by him–and the female wrestlers–from the very beginning.”

A class action suit brought by current and former female UC-Davis wrestlers is still pending. Burch is now serving as assistant wrestling coach at Brown University.

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AAUW release 1/19/07; AAUW case summaries 12/06, 7/06; Sacramento Bee 1/20/07

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