Cook v. FHSAA Court Case

On April 2009, Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) tried to cut 20% of 40% of all of the competitive sports with the exception of football and competitive cheer leading. They used budget-cutting legislation which is referring to Policy 6. This was because the size of the football programs in Florida, had unequal advantages for male student athletes. At this time 30% were exempt from cuts, while only 50% girls were exempt. Silva Cook, along with five other parents, decided to sue Florida high school governing body. Violated Title IX said that this happened since cuts affected mostly girls. The Florida High School Athletic Association used as a defense and claim that their co-ed football team had the same amount of girls as boys. But in reality there were only three females on the high schoo football team in 2008. When this came to the court, many of the courts said that the defense's claim did not justify the cuts that were happening in the Florida High School Athletic Association because in reality the cuts really limited girls opportunities at a much greater rate then boys. The court ruler had said, "Sports participation opportunities and benefits are to be measured by the girls and the boys actually playing sports, not by including illusory opportunities that they could potentially play." This means that the boys have to actually be playing the sport rather than just being included. Finally, when the plaintiffs won this court case, the program was cut and the representor for the plaintiffs was Nancy Hogshead Makar. Nancy Hogshead Makar is the Legal Advisory to the Women's Sports Foundation.
This is what the FHSAA has to to in order to make it so that they are following Title IX:
  • Comply to all federation non-discriminatory policies in the future
  • Includes the Florida Educational Act - Equal Protection Clause of the United States Consitution and Title IX of the Educational Amendemnt of 1972
  • Not to cut sports teams in the future without determining whether one gender would be more affected than the other
  • Athletic Associations must provide training sessions about obligations of agreement under Title IX and other gender equality laws
  • They have to do a session for FHSAA representatives assembly in January and conduct compliance seminars in July 2010
  • Also agreed not to retaliate against plaintiffs
  • All training sessions conduct Civil Rights education or TItle IX
  • Instruct employees to not retaliate against students for their part in lawsuit because it's against the law
Both parties agreed:
  • comply all non-discriminating policies
  • not retaliate against plaintiffs
  • Policy 6- Association can't make changes to treat another gender better
  • Association gives two weeks notice about any changes regarding policy 6 to Nancy Hogshead Makar
  • must provide training about obligations under Title IX
  • plaintiffs will wave claims to money damages
  • Associatoin cover plaintiffs legal costs
  • any child in school system has a standing to enforce the agreement
This agreement lasts until December 31 in 2015.

Cohen v. Brown University

In April 1992, 12 varsity athletes sued Brown University after the college demoted their varsity gymnastics and volleyball programs to club status. Men's golf and waterpolo teams were also cut but those cuts came with no protest. Plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction to reinstate gymnastics and volleyball teams to varsity status. Judge Raymond J. Pettine granted the injunction after Pettine discovered that Brown didn't comply to any of the three tests set by HEW. Brown appealed the decision, however, Pettine's decision upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st circuit of April 1993. Brown pushed for a retrial on the merits of case. In March 1995, the retrail, also presided by Judge Pettine, it was determined that Brown was still in violation of Title IX. Brown yet again went through another round of appeals in 1996, The Supreme Court declined to see the case affirming the lower courts decision. The plaintiffs demonstrated that Brown doesnt have a proportionate ratio of women and men varsity athletes, therefore not not complying with the first test. In 1991-92 seasons Brown had 529(63.4%) men athletes while women only had 305(36.6%) varsity athletes. Evidence was also shown that Brown doesn't have continuing practice of program expansion, the second test. The only women's team added since 1977 was women's winter track in 1982. In the 1970's for a student body of 61% men and 39% women, 51-51% men athletes and 48-49% women athletes. Brown argued that since the 1970's coaching has improved, more coaches had been added and admission practices had improved to increase a women's opportunities. The level of competition has also increased making Brown in compliance with the third test, but Brown wasn't in compliance with the first two tests. Also the plaintiffs pointed out that none of the facts linked to program expansion, because program expansion involves the number of teams and number of athletes. By denying varsity status to the volleyball and gymnastics teams Brown failed to accomodate the "interests and abilities" of the women athletes. The judge ordered Brown to fulfill five requirements,
~Restore the gymnastics and volleyball teams to varsity status.
~Provide all needed funds for the teams.
~Provide funds equal to the amount that would have funded the team from 1990-91.
~Provide on-campus office and restore the special admissions practices for recruits.
~Brown is not allowed to eliminate or reduce in status any existing women's varsity teams.

Grove City College v. Bell

In 1972 congress addresses gender discrimination by passing Title IX. This states that "No Person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." This made it so that both in the classroom and on the sports field women could not be discriminated against for just the fact that they are women. But with this new law came many new challenges. One of the challenges that came was making sure that all schools and organizations met compliance for the law. This did not always happen and the Health Education and Welfare (HEW) was in charge of all this so they would see to it if the schools were not meeting compliance. Shortly after the law was passed Grove City College argued that they did not have to comply to Title IX because they did not receive federal funding, but there was a draw back, some of the students that attended did receive federal funding. This meant that the school did receive federal funding but indirectly. Because of this the HEW threatened to cut funding aid to all of Pennsylvania, the schools responded to this with a court case. In 1982 the Third Circuit Court ruled that the schools still needed to comply to the ruled of Title IX. Then on February 28 1984 the US Supreme Court up heard the lower court ruling and made the Title IX law so that only the departments of the school that received federal funding had to comply to the law. This ruling narrowed the Title IX law from entire organizations to specific programs, reduced law effectiveness and made enforcements more difficult due to the narrow guide lines. There has been much controversy on this ruling and has had multiple reviews but has basically stayed the same.

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