AB: Brown U Title IX decision We won won!!!!

Megan Hull (mhull@mail.idt.net)
Sun, 24 Nov 1996 01:48:55 -0500 (EST)

I am one of the named plaintiffs in the Brown case- I think anyone
interested in gender equity might be interested in reading more about it.
While I am excited about the First Circuit Court's decision, it's pretty
depressing that women still have to fight for these opportunities
twenty-four years after Title IX was enacted. Brown actually believes (and
has spent the last several years arguing in court) that women aren't as
deserving of athletic opportunities as men. After five and a half years of
fighting, we've gotten Brown to change their policy, but clearly we haven't
changed their minds. Sometimes I wonder if they know what century we're in.

Megan Hull

>To: abigails-l@majordomo.netcom.com
>From: owner-abigails-l@netcom.com
>Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 22:15:00 -0500
>Subject: AB: Brown U Title IX decision We won won!!!!
>Sender: owner-abigails-l@majordomo.netcom.com
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>Reply-To: abigails-l@netcom.com
>**list-admin ABIGAILS-L: forwarded with permission.
>We won one!!!!
>Here's the column i wrote for background!
>(Distributed by New York Times Special Features)
>Cheer, applaud, holler and yell ...
>... when Jackie Joyner-Kersee powers her way through the long jump and
>heptathlon events.
>... when Atlanta's hometown hero Gwen Torrence sprints toward
>a possible triple gold.
>... when Janet Evans slices through the water to pursue her
>gold medals for the third time around.
>... and when Sheryl Swoopes and her teammates live up to
>their names and taste victory.
>Twenty-four years ago our nation enacted Title IX of the 1972
>Amendments to the Education Act, barring sex discrimination in
>educational programs. It has paved the way for American female
>athletes and sparked a new level of excellence in women's sports
>around the world.
>The result?
>A record-setting total of about 3,700 women from here and
>abroad will compete in the '96 Olympic Games.
>Yet only 10 percent of U.S. colleges now fully comply with
>Title IX. Indeed, two lawsuits are pending which attempt to
>cripple it.
>Since the statute was passed, schools have scrambled to create
>new women's teams, hire coaches, recruit top performers and pay
>for equipment, locker rooms and plane fare to competitive events.
>But many schools are still reluctant to offer opportunities to
>women comparable to those for the ``revenue-producing'' sports of
>football and men's basketball.
>Parenthetically, the Women's Sports Institute has published
>``Facts and Fallacies,'' a fact sheet about Title IX, revealing
>that 61 percent of top-ranked college basketball teams run in the
>red and college football actually produces more than $1.6 million
>in annual deficits.
>Title IX doesn't require schools to spend dollar for dollar on
>each sex _ or, for instance, to support women's varsity football
>_ but instead asks that women be given a chance to play on teams
>``substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.''
>If a school can't prove it does so, it can still pass the
>court's sex-bias test by demonstrating that it has a history of
>expanding women's sports teams or ``effectively accommodating''
>female students' interests.
>But many schools flunk even such loose standards.
>In 1992 at Brown University _ an Ivy League bastion of
>liberalism _ 10 female athletes sued after officials decided to
>demote the gymnastic and volleyball teams from varsity _ funded by
>the school _ to club status _ with no institutional financial
>In 1994 at Louisiana State University _ the Baton Rouge
>academy with a championship football team _ five women sued after
>the administration refused to promote the soccer and slow-pitch
>softball teams from club to varsity level.
>Of course, a withdrawal of institutional financial support can
>mean no scholarships, practice restricted to late-evening hours,
>sub-competition-level coaching and footing the bill for one's own
>travel, equipment and hotels. If nothing else it's a big
>deterrent to students with financial need.
>Each case is now being closely watched by those in college
>sports, and if the athletes prevail, younger women and girls
>across the country are likely to benefit.
>So while the Olympics roll, keep in mind the competition being
>fought in the courts by Brown's eight former gymnasts _ Jennifer
>Cloud, Amy Cohen, Melissa Kuroda, Karen MacDonald, Eileen Rocchio,
>Darcy Shearer, Jennifer Shu and Lisa Stern _ and two volleyball
>players _ Jody Budge and Megan Hall. As well as Louisiana's former
>soccer players Tammy Clark, Lisa Ollar and Beth Pederson and
>slow-pitch softball twins Cindy and Karla Pineda.
>The Brown case went to trial last year. After hearing the
>evidence, Federal Judge Raymond J. Pettine agreed with the women
>and ordered Brown to remodel its sports program. The school
>submitted a plan, but the judge rejected it and supported a plan
>offered by the female athletes. The university appealed.
>``I just can't understand why (the school) didn't settle,''
>says gymnast Cohen _ who, like all the other women, has graduated
>by now.
>She has reason to wonder. The majority of discrimination suits
>do settle. To date, women athletes have won the Title IX cases
>that have gone to trial.
>Brown's stubbornness may have to do with its lawyer, Walter B.
>Connolly Jr. _ the Detroit defense specialist who currently also
>represents Mitsubishi, the Japanese-based automaker that has
>refused to settle highly publicized sexual-harassment cases
>involving more than 300 female employees who work at its Normal,
>Illinois plant.
>Connolly argues that federal regulations under Title IX
>require quota systems and are therefore illegal. He also argues
>that women aren't as interested in sports as men are, so schools
>don't have to provide as many opportunities.
>Connolly is unfazed by the fact that women have won all the
>other cases and fights on.
>``The fallacy of the approach all these courts have taken is
>that they require schools to give preferential treatment to
>women's athletic programs,'' Connolly argues. But he isn't a Rush
>Limbaugh-type anti-quota freak: ``I am not that insensitive.''
>The Louisiana team faces a vastly different challenge. Its
>world-class track and field department has produced eight women
>who are competing in this year's Olympic preliminary trials.
>LSU-trained female athletes _ some of whom have graduated and
>returned to their homelands _ are on Olympic teams for the United
>States, Austria, the Bahamas, Canada, Holland and Jamaica.
>What could be wrong?
>Lots, as it turns out. Track and field are the exceptions, not
>the rule at LSU. Federal Judge Rebecca F. Doherty ruled in January
>that the school's athletic program was ``archaic'' and
>``ignorant'' and ordered it to come up with a plan within 20 days
>to comply with the federal law.
>But the school motioned to dismiss the whole case _ something
>Lynn Rambo, one of the attorneys for the women, says is possible
>even at this stage of the game.
>The university is arguing that because the U.S. Constitution
>gives states broad immunity from being sued, the women have no
>right to even bring a case.
>But women students must have the right to challenge their
>schools, says lawyer Deborah Brake, a leading expert on Title IX,
>at the National Women's Law Center.
>If LSU succeeds, only the U.S. Justice Department would have
>the authority to use the courts to compel schools to comply, not
>the women who claim to be discriminated against.
>``There is blatant sex discrimination throughout the world of
>intercollegiate sports in the areas these two cases demonstrate:
>treatment and opportunities,'' Brake says.
>She is confident the women athletes will win the Brown and LSU
>cases and looks forward to carrying the battle on to what she
>describes as the new frontier.
>Brake has just settled four cases in favor of women in
>Nebraska and is beginning two in Oklahoma on behalf of high school
>girls who just want to have a chance to play their sport.
>c.1996 Rita Henley Jensen
>Forwarded message:
> cc:
> Subject: Brown Decision on Academe Today
> To the members of SPORTSOC:
> I thought some of you might be interested in this information.
> Please feel free to redistribute this notice to other appropriate
> discussion lists.
> Thanks,
> -Jeff Young
> Assistant Editor, Academe Today/
> The Chronicle of Higher Education
> -----------------------------
> A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that Brown University
> had discriminated against its female athletes in violation of
> Title IX, a law requiring gender equity in colleges that get
> federal dollars. The 110-page decision, which affirmed a lower
> court's ruling, was a huge victory for advocates of women in
> intercollegiate athletics -- and a potentially huge blow to men's
> sports, such as wrestling, that have suffered cuts as colleges
> have attempted to comply with Title IX.
> Academe Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education's daily news
> service on the Internet, has the full text of the appeals court's
> ruling -- both the majority opinion and the dissent -- as well as
> a detailed story that analyzes its meaning and potential impact.
> Subscribers to this list are welcome to read both the story and
> the court decision -- and to explore Academe Today's many other
> resources -- with a FREE password for the next few days.
> Simply point your World-Wide Web browser at http://chronicle.com,
> click on any headline, and, after you are asked for your user
> name and password, type "academe" as your user name and "today"
> as your password (do not type the quotation marks).
>Fwd: Brown Decision on Academe Today

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