A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a settlement between Brown University and student-athletes who challenged the Ivy League school’s decision to drop several women’s college sports.
The United States’ first appeals court sided with the university and the athletes who initially filed a lawsuit for leaving the settlement in abeyance, the Providence Journal reported.
Twelve athletes from the women’s gymnastics and ice hockey teams had asked the court to dismiss the settlement in the interests of Brown’s current and future female athletes.
The regulation, approved by a federal judge in Providence last year, restores the university status of women’s equestrian and fencing teams and calls for the end of a 1998 legal agreement guaranteeing gender equality in sports academics in Brown on August 31, 2024.
The legal challenge concerned the decision of the Providence school to reduce several female university sports teams to club status. Several men’s sports were also reduced to club status, although some were later restored. The student-athletes alleged the cuts violated the 1998 pact.
The 1998 agreement was the result of a court challenge to Brown’s decision to end women’s gymnastics and volleyball in the early 1990s. Brown said the agreement established unique reporting requirements that no other US college or university would have. is not faced. The school is still subject to the Federal Law of Title IX requiring equal opportunities for women in sport.
A spokesperson for the university said the school was happy with the court’s decision.
The student-athletes were represented by lawyers from the ACLU of Rhode Island, Public Justice and two private law firms. They called the settlement an important victory for women in school athletics.
“We are delighted to see that the protections for Brown’s female athletes obtained by the rule approved last year remain in place and that Brown’s obligation to hold the line against any further reduction in her women’s program is secured for the remainder of the term of the agreement, ”Cooperative public justice and ACLU lawyer Lynette Labinger said in a statement.