EDUCATION AND SPORTS
General Legal Standard
Students and employees of a school are protected from discrimination based on sex. This includes education, employment and sports. Any school or college that receives federal funding must provide equal opportunities to both sexes. This means the school must try to have relatively equal numbers of female students compared to male students. It also means that the school has to provide similar opportunities to female athletes that it does to male athletes. This can include anything from the number of athletes participating in sports to providing similar funding for recruiting.
Some examples of discrimination under Title IX may include:
- Refusing to add a girl’s soccer team even though there is a valid interest
- Providing disproportionate funding to men’s sports over women’s sports or vice versa, including head coaches’ and assistant coaches’ salaries, athletics facilities and recruiting dollars
- Sexual harassment of a student by a professor or another student
- Failing to hire female professors in certain departments
- Failing to hire a male coach for a girl’s/women’s team or a female coach for a boy’s/men’s team
Coaches are the primary line of defense for female students obtaining equal funding and equal opportunities with males. Athletes aged 18-22 are not often willing to challenge the system. While coaches are also at risk of retaliation, coaches have better access to administrators and women’s advocacy groups that can provide support in challenging unfair funding of men’s sports over women’s sports. While the decision of a coach to challenge the system can be difficult, it can be done and done with success, particularly when a coach obtains legal advice prior to suffering retaliation.
All information on our website is meant to be generally informative. To find out whether you may have a case of age discrimination, you should consult a lawyer of your choice.