Department of Education Finds California College Violated Title IX

The United States Department of Education has found that San Diego’s Mesa College violated Title IX legislation based on an October 2007 complaint. In its review regarding the women’s basketball team, the Department of Education cited disparities in several areas including locker room use and access to practice or training areas that were “more than negligible and collectively established a violation of Title IX,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Former Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Lorri Sulpizio and her domestic partner Cathy Bass, an assistant coach, sued the college in July when they were fired after they publicly claimed Mesa State treated female coaches and players unfairly.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights brought the complaint to the Department of Education on the behalf of Sulpizio and Bass. Helen Carroll, sport project director of the NCLR said in a statement, “Mesa should comply with the law and ensure that women student-athletes and coaches have the same resources and opportunities as their male counterparts. We are pleased that the Office of Civil Rights is addressing these inequities,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Although the college agreed to change their policies, according to USA Today, Sulpizio and Bass are still awaiting the result of the lawsuit they brought against the college for employment discrimination. Other women coaches have received large settlements as a result of sex discrimination cases.


San Jose Mercury News 9/16/08; USA Today 9/17/08; Ms. Magazine Spring 2008

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