During the midst of court proceedings last spring, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut reinstated women’s volleyball under pressure about their Title IX compliance and some questions about doctored rosters.
But the university went ahead with its original plan of adding competitive cheerleading. And with the high turnout for that “team,” the university is claiming they are well in compliance now–overcompliant in fact, says the president. This all means that volleyball is not safe from being re-cut. He is pitting sports against academics saying that the money from cutting teams can be used to find 5 full-time professors. There’s nothing that says you cannot prioritize academics. But what happens is that sports get pitted against each other as they started to last spring when some of the arguments we heard in court pitted the cheerleaders against the volleyball players.
And despite the fact that we were happy that volleyball got reinstated (and a little miffed at the way men’s sports were dropped in a miscontextualized zero-sum game explanation), we here at the Title IX Blog were eager to see how a court would treat competitive cheer in a Title IX case.
We still may get that opportunity. Litigation is technically still ongoing and if volleyball does get re-dropped, we may see another lawsuit about the validity of counting cheerleading toward Title IX compliance.