Quinnipiac University has agreed to keep women’s volley ball as a varsity sport, increase scholarships for female athletes and expand opportunities for women as part of a Title IX legal settlement.
The case against Quinnipiac began in 2009 when the university made an announcement that the school was cutting women’s volleyball, men’s golf, and men’s outdoor track and changing competitive cheerleading to a varsity sport. The lawsuit, brought by ACLU, Pullman & Comley, and Sports Equity, claimed that Quinnipiac violated Title IX by failing to provide equal opportunity to women athletes to participate in varsity-level sports. One of the female coaches testified that the school takes names of male student athletes off team rosters and then reinstitutes them in order to make the school’s Title IX reports appear to be in compliance with the law. In 2010, U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill ruled in favor of the women athletes and required Quinnipiac to come into compliance.
Sandra Staub, legal director of the ACLU Foundation of Connecticut, said, “This litigation advanced the cause of equality for female collegiate athletes across the nation, and the settlement will bring tremendous benefits to female athletes at Quinnipiac University.” David McQuire, an attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Connecticut, told reporters, “It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the quality of benefits the teams receive… We believe Quinnipiac is committed to implementing this and coming up with a first-class non-discriminatory athletic program.”
The settlement must still be approved by Judge Underhill.