On Wednesday, US District Court Judge Frank Damrell of Sacramento ruled that the University of California at Davis failed to allow women students equal opportunities to play college sports and violated Title IX, a law passed in 1972 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all levels of education. Judge Damrell wrote in his decision, “UC Davis did not have a continuing practice of program expansion at the time plaintiffs were students….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.”
Nevertheless, Judge Damrell stated that there was no evidence that the defendants in the case, the university officials, “deliberately discriminated” against the plaintiffs and therefore his decision would place “severe limitations on the damages these plaintiffs may recover.” Arezou Mansourian, Christine Ng, and Lauren Mancuso filed the lawsuit ten years ago after they were not permitted to sign up for varsity wrestling.
Noreen Farrell, Managing Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates who represented the plaintiffs, stated, “The young women who brought this suit courageously sought enforcement of Title IX, a law which was passed nearly 40 years ago to ensure that young women and men across the country have equal educational opportunities, including in athletics. As this Court’s decision reflects, schools such as UC Davis must make gender equity a priority. Generations of young women depend on it.”