Legal scholars have speculated on the possibility that Penn State’s response to allegations of sex abuse in its athletics department could violate Title IX (see earlier blog post here). Last week, ten civil rights advocacy organizations sent a joint letter to OCR, imploring the agency to conduct a compliance review of the matter — particularly, whether the university employed a different standard because athletics was involved. OCR is already investigating whether Penn State violated the Clery Act, which requires universities to disclose criminal incidents that occur on campus.
Coincidentally, this request for an OCR compliance review comes on the heels of this report on the trend of increased compliance reviews by OCR in the last two years. Hopefully OCR will take some of that compliance-review momentum and use it to broaden the scope of it its investigation at Penn State.