The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed today that Quinnipiac University failed to provide equal athletic opportunities for women, agreeing point by point with a 2010 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stefan R. Underhill.
The three-judge panel upheld Judge Underhill’s order that the university stop discriminating against female athletes and that it maintain the women’s varsity volleyball team until it can prove compliance with Title IX, the law requiring universities that receive federal funding to provide equal athletic participation opportunities for men and women.
“We expect the Second Circuit’s decision to finally persuade Quinnipiac and any other university in violation of Title IX to stop fighting gender equity and start providing meaningful and equal athletic opportunities for women,” said Sandra Staub, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. The Second Circuit characterized Judge Underhill’s decision as a “comprehensive and well-reasoned opinion.”
Shortly after Quinnipiac announced in 2009 that it planned to eliminate its women’s volleyball team, the ACLU of Connecticut filed suit with cooperating attorneys Jonathan Orleans and Alex Hernandez of Pullman & Comley, LLC, and Kristen Galles of Equity Legal. Judge Underhill ruled in 2010 that the case could proceed as a class action on behalf of all present and future female Quinnipiac students.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX, and it’s fitting that this decision underscores its importance,” said Jonathan Orleans of Pullman & Comley. “This is a great victory for Quinnipiac’s female student athletes and for women’s collegiate sports.”