HARTFORD (CN) – The head coach and members of the Quinnipiac University women’s volleyball team filed a Title IX class action against the school for eliminating the NCAA Division I program. The team says Quinnipiac offers male students more opportunities to play varsity sports than women, though women make up 62 percent of the student body.
“Title IX was enacted over 30 years ago and makes clear that denying women equal access to athletics is a violation of their civil rights,” said Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut, which filed the lawsuit. “We understand these are tough economic times, but Quinnipiac shouldn’t be unfairly balancing their budget on the backs of women who are already being discriminated against.”
The teams asked the court to preserve the program while the issue is litigated.
The ACLU says the lives of the women volleyball players, along with incoming students who committed to playing volleyball at the university have been thrown into uncertainty.
In committing to the university, team members closed the door to other university admissions, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. Now players must decide whether to stay at Quinnipiac, hoping the team will survive, and risk not playing volleyball at the collegiate level, or try to find another program elsewhere. The decision to end the program was made in early March as part of the university’s budget deliberations. Men’s golf and men’s outdoor track were also eliminated. All three programs were NCAA Division I programs