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Cohen v. Brown University

Cohen v. Brown University

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Published by Reid Murtaugh

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Reid Murtaugh on Jan 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/21/2013

Cohen v.

Brown University
1st Circuit Court of Appeals 991 F.2d 888 (1st Cir. 1993) Key Search Terms: Title IX, cut-backs, college athletics Facts In response to budgeting restrictions and financial problems, Brown University demoted women’s volleyball, women’s gymnastics, men’s golf, and men’s water polo to intercollegiate club sports. This downgrading had the effect of cutting off all subsidies to the sports including salaried coaches, facility access, medical trainers, and office support. Although the university allowed the teams to continue to compete against other schools’ varsity teams, demoting a team to club status usually causes other varsity teams to remove the team from their schedule. Both before and after the cut back, the university offered women just over 36% of the athletic opportunities it did to men. Based on these numbers, members of women’s volleyball and gymnastics teams brought a class action suit against the university under Title IX. Issue The issue is whether the preliminary injunction should be granted, which would restore the teams to varsity status. Holding The 1st Circuit affirmed the injunction reasoning that the Title IX case was met by the plaintiff’s argument of the following factors: numerical disparity and unmet interest. The court of appeals further reasoned that the university’s reading of Title IX is legally flawed on two counts. First, the requirement of full accommodation of the underrepresented gender is not met. Second, the athletes whose teams have been cut have been excluded from participation in and denied the benefits of their athletic program based on sex. The court reasoned that based on this test, the university is not in compliance with Title IX. Summarized By: Erika Nelson

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